Opinion

Good Governance Brings Certainty, Safety, Security

  Fijians everywhere would ask me why I put emphasis on the ‘rule of law’ and ‘political stability’ or ‘good governance’. What do those terms mean? Why are they relevant?
20 Oct 2018 11:00
Good Governance Brings Certainty, Safety, Security
Roko Tupou Draunidalo.

 

Fijians everywhere would ask me why I put emphasis on the ‘rule of law’ and ‘political stability’ or ‘good governance’.

What do those terms mean?

Why are they relevant?

Are they relevant?

How will it affect me and my life every day?

I am happy to receive those ques­tions and to respond.

I tell voters that those terms go to the heart of government and serv­ing the people.

That when investors look around for where to invest and grow their money- they look for the rule of law and political stability.

They look for good governance because all of those things brings certainty, safety and security to their investment.

I ask Fijians to imagine for them­selves if they had $1 million to in­vest, to grow so that they can get $2- 3 million back in returns over time, where would they invest their money?

Would they invest in a country that has the same constitution for one hundred years or more or in­vest in a country that keeps chang­ing its constitutions by force of arms?

The latter of course means that all of the other laws of a country can change at once without notice which usually means more costs to the business from different licence terms and conditions, different supplies or different trade routes.

The currency may get devalued overnight.

Those are all of the costs and ex­penses to be borne by various busi­nesses thereby costing them more to run and less profit. Or indeed, losses.

I then tell Fijians that means, job losses and lower wages. Because businesses will cut costs to comply with a sudden change of laws and soak up the uncertainty.

That means that everyday living will be harder.

Also, businesses not doing well or investors being discouraged from investing more means that there will be less taxes from busi­nesses, less disposable wages and less vat to government from daily consumption.

That means less monies to gov­ernment for roads, schools, edu­cation and health. And if you add high military spending to that, government borrowing will be high.

Government has to of course pay back that borrowing plus interest. That means more taxes on what re­mains to be taxed which includes every day food. Which means more hardship for ordinary citizens and families.

This is why we in HOPE like the rule of law, political stability and good governance so much.

We need those things so that pri­vate investment thrives or occurs much more in Fiji.

So that the tax base is broader, more businesses and employees paying taxes means we can reduce taxes further.

More private investment means more jobs available and better wages. Reduced taxes mean that every day food items can be exempt of taxes and hidden costs which make them more expensive raising the cost of living for all especially the families and the poor.

More private investment means better schools and hospitals and they will in turn ensure better equipped workers for a much bet­ter economy.

Better economy for better roads too and less foreign debt which is costly. To get all of these good things, Fiji needs the rule of law, political stability and good govern­ance.

Lawyers know that the rule of law does not simply mean being governed by laws, but that the laws that govern us are just and applied equally.

Investors look out for that too. Be­cause they don’t want to invest $1 million in Fiji only to discover that if they have a dispute with a sup­plier or the government, the law will favour the other parties over them.

That puts investors off too. So they take their money instead to Australia or New Zealand.

That is why those countries have much higher comparative levels of private investments for their low cost of living (basic foods and goods), more jobs, better wages, schools and hospitals.

That is what HOPE wants for Fiji.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Subscribe-to-Newspaper