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A-G: Opposition Replies Full of Contradictions, Inconsistencies

A-G: Opposition Replies Full of Contradictions, Inconsistencies
Opposition MP Prem Singh (left), and Leader of Opposition Ro Teimumu Kepa (right), outside Parliament on July 11, 2017. Photo: Ronald Kumar
July 12
13:04 2017

Members of the Opposition have failed to provide constructive comments on the 2017-2018 National Budget.

The Attorney-General and the Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, in his right of reply in Parliament last night, said the Opposition had resorted to scraping the bottom of the barrel to find Budget fault lines.

“The only thing that was consistent in the comments of the Opposition was their own contradictions and inconsistencies, some even contradicted themselves in the same speech,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

The Opposition MPs, he added played their own tunes and ended up distorting facts.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they even made laughable and embarrassing statements.

“It’s obviously, Madam Speaker, just a sheer lack of understanding of basic economics, finance and commercial realities.” he said

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum then highlighted some of the inconsistencies that Opposition MPs had alluded to in their Budget responses.

These included accusations that the National Budget was an elections budget and promises they claimed to make if they come to power.

He said these were the same old divisive, narrow-minded and short-sighted agenda with some resorting to playing racial politics.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum further criticised the statement made by Shadow Minister for Economy, Aseri Radrodro on Monday.

“Each Opposition MP seems to have their own estimates of unemployment numbers and they completely disregarded official employment statistics. Honourable Opposition leader went on to say that 46 per cent of our population is unemployed,” he said.

On the other hand, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Opposition MPs claimed the Police Budget was high.

“They need to make up their mind, probably talk to each other and don’t embarrass themselves,” he said.

In addition, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they never considered the fact that Fiji needed law and order while heavily criticising the budget allocations for the defence forces.

He also said they had misunderstood the tax regime which was based on principles of transparency.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the inconsistency from the Opposition manifested in the way they criticised the job evaluation exercise for civil servants.

“This is just a snap shot of what they have been saying. My advice to the ordinary Fijians please don’t listen to these people, not just now but outside Parliament too. Don’t listen to them next year or the year after that.

“If they have the audacity to make such wild comments with the figures in front of them, God knows what else they will do,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said if he had to highlight the inconsistencies and confusions of the Opposition it would take him hours.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa


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