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Prasad’s Ideas For ‘Fiscal Responsibility’

The Opposition Finance spokesperson, Biman Prasad, said the 2016-17 National Budget “failed the test of fiscal responsibility”. “It may be good politics, but it is not good economics,” Mr Prasad
05 Jul 2016 08:41
Prasad’s Ideas For  ‘Fiscal Responsibility’
Opposition MP and Finance spokesperson, Biman Prasad, outside Parliament yesterday. Photo: Vilimoni Vaganalau

The Opposition Finance spokesperson, Biman Prasad, said the 2016-17 National Budget “failed the test of fiscal responsibility”.

“It may be good politics, but it is not good economics,” Mr Prasad said.

He said Fiji was running another “huge” deficit of 4.7 per cent Gross Domestic Product using Tropical Cyclone Winston as an excuse.

“Of course we must pay for cyclone recovery, but we must do that by cutting back spending, re-prioritising and raising tax in the right places,” Mr Prasad said.

Mr Prasad said the budget was big on vote-catching spending promises.

Mr Prasad said last year he labelled the budget as a “deceptive budget of a confused Government” because it had no theme and was all over the place.

He said Value Added Tax (VAT) was reduced for the rich, but the poorest people would pay more VAT.

“To put it simply, the 2016 Budget was consistently inconsistent,” Mr Prasad said.

He further said the 2016/2017 National Budget was no better.

He said the economy had surged through borrowing and remittances, but it would not be enough.

“We need to re-look at our strategy and approach; we need political reform to restore trust and faith in our people and the international community; without this we will be continuing to muddle through on the economy.

“Trust is very important, be it in economics, in politics, in anything; we need to build trust in our system of governance, in our parliamentary process and in our delivery of information,” Mr Prasad said.

Minister for Trade, Industry and Tourism Faiyaz Koya said he didn’t understand what Mr Prasad meant when he said the budget had no theme.

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  arieta.vakasukawaqa@fijisun.com.fj

 

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