‘Wrong’ to use FNPF

IT is wrong for Government to offer “assistance” to flood affected people by allowing them to use money invested for their retirement in the Fiji National Provident Fund, says the National Federation Party.

Party leader Professor Biman Prasad said what was also disappointing was the silence by Government about aid packages for those who were not FNPF members.

“It is wrong for people to use their own money to rebuild homes destroyed during natural disasters,” he said during a tour of flood affected areas in the Western Division this week.

“These people are the victims of weather events and in some cases their situation was made worse because of the lack of attention paid by Government to infrastructure over the past decade.

“And what happens to those who are not members of FNPF? Where do they go, who will assist them?

“Government must reactivate the Help for Homes scheme because the situation we are in now is not going to get better.

“Climate change is a reality and more frequent and destructive events have become the norm, people must be given assistance to rebuild or repair their homes to withstand these weather events.

“That is the responsibility of a good Government.”

Prof Prasad said instead of hitting out at political parties for highlighting inadequacies in Government agencies, preparations and response to the recent flood, the PM should ensure that evacuation centres were opened and well-equipped to handle evacuees.

Questions sent to the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday morning about the comments made by Professor Biman remained unanswered.

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