NEWS

‘Fiscal Policy To Bolster Fiji’

Governments between 1980 and 2006 spent $3.5 billion in capital expenditure. By doing this, they increased country’s debt by around $2.6 billion. The Bainimarama Government and later the FijiFirst Government
09 Mar 2018 10:00
‘Fiscal Policy To Bolster Fiji’
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in Parliament. Photo: Parliament of Fiji

Governments between 1980 and 2006 spent $3.5 billion in capital expenditure. By doing this, they increased country’s debt by around $2.6 billion.

The Bainimarama Government and later the FijiFirst Government spent over $7 billion in capital expenditure in 11 years and this increases the nominal debt by $2.5 billion.

This means that from 1980 to 2006, out of every dollar, Government spent on capital expenditure such as building bridges, fixing roads, 76 cents was loaned from other sources.

On the other hand, in the last 11 years, for every dollar spent in capital expenditure, this Government borrowed only 33 cents.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum revealed these figures in Parliament yesterday while providing an update on the Fijian economy and fiscal position through a ministerial statement.

“Had Government spent as low as previous Governments on capital expenditure – we would have actually repaid our debt by now,’’ Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“So, Madam Speaker, the FijiFirst Government has been spending to raise the productive capacity of the Fijian economy and ensure every Fijian has access to proper roads, bridges and jetties, electricity, clean water, education, health, legal services. That’s why we have the best capital expenditure mix at 41 per cent to total expenditure,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He also highlighted that Government was also making huge investments for the long-term future of the country in sectors like ICT (cable laying to Vanua Levu, liberalising telecommunications, digital TV, telecentres, back office processors).

“We are laying the platform to transform Fiji,’’ Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“Madam Speaker, over the years, Government has also been registering large operating surplus of close to six to eight per cent of GDP, with all borrowings directed towards capital spending. Capital spending has increased with vast improvement in capital operating mix together with a steady growth in revenue collections.”

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa

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