Rabuka: Party to address reality

SOCIAL Democratic Liberal Party leader Sitiveni Rabuka says a SODELPA government will look at the bread and butter issues when formulating a budget.

He claimed the 2017-2018 National Budget announced by Government is driven by personal ego and focused on FijiFirst’s survival in the next national general election.

“It fails to be broad and expansive to embrace the reality on the ground and our vulnerability as a small nation,” Mr Rabuka said.

“As leaders we must recognise our vulnerabilities. We have a narrow base economy, our growth is driven by consumption.”

Mr Rabuka said the overall increased expenditure from the 2012 budget of $1.96 billion to the estimated $4.4 billion in this year’s budget was worrying.

“The allocation in the 2017-2018 budget has been increased by more than 400 per cent compared with 2012.

“On the revenue side it is important to note that operating saving continued to increase since the 2014 budget. This means that people of Fiji are being overtaxed.

“Despite an increase in operating surplus, debt continues to increase. You will note that our debt level has also increased substantially.

“In 2012 our total debt was about $3.6 billion. With the current budget it will increase to $4.7 billion.

“Basically it means that every Fijian man, woman and child carries a debt burden of $6000 when that is broken down on per capita basis.”

Mr Rabuka said a SODELPA government budget would look at minimum wages and compare and balance that with the high costs of living and the low wage rates.

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