Prof Naidu: Budget fails to provide support to those living below the poverty line

USP's Head of the School of Government, Development and International Affairs, Professor Vijay Naidu. Picture: FILE

A UNIVERSITY of the South Pacific academic has labelled the 2018-2019 National Budget as an election year budget that seeks to respond to the complex needs and aspirations of Fijians.

Analysing the budget, professor in Governance and Development Studies, Professor Vijay Naidu, claimed the budget failed to provide support to those living below the poverty line.

Prof Naidu said the concerning factors in the budget included:
– the national debt and its servicing;
– the overall sum under miscellaneous of over a half billion dollars;
– the quality of implementation of policies and programs given a demoralised public service; and
– the quality of work being done by overseas and local consultants and contractors.

He said while national budgets had its pros and cons, “the devil was in the detail”.

“The 2018-19 budget is comprehensive with a revenue forecast of $4.25 billion
and expenditure forecast of $4.65b.

Many commentators have already described it as a ‘good budget’ and a ‘balanced budget’,” Prof Naidu said.

“It is indeed an election year budget that seeks to respond to the complex needs and aspirations of Fiji citizens and also seeks to be futuristic.”

He said the largest allocations were for education and infrastructure, particularly roads.

*More detailed reports in today’s The Fiji Times and on our e-edition.

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