Unity Fiji Manifesto Highlights: Restore Gcc And Solution To Eradicate Poverty

Unity Fiji has plans to restore the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC).
05 Nov 2022 15:12
Unity Fiji Manifesto Highlights: Restore  Gcc And Solution To Eradicate Poverty
Unity Fiji supporters and candidates at the launch of the party manifesto at Wesley Church Hall in Butt Street, Suva, on November 4, 2022. Photo: Josefa Babitu

Unity Fiji has plans to restore the Great Council of Chiefs (GCC).

This according to its manifesto that was released at the Wesley Church Hall in Butt Street, Suva, on Friday.


The restoration of the GCC, it believes, would realign its role to economic and social development.

Coupled with this, all legislations including the infamous Bill 17 – now known as the iTaukei Land Trust (Budget Amendment) Act 2021 – would be reversed.

The party believes that the amendment reduces the resource owners’ control.


The party will also establish a commission to review what Mr Narube calls the ‘imposed 2013 Constitution’.

Party leader, Savenaca Narube, said the manifesto was to restore hope and freedom.

“Enough is enough. Let us unite and fight against economic mismanagement, social degradation, corruption, attack on basic freedoms and dictatorship that have brought inequalities, discriminations, intimidation, and poverty,” he said.


However, Government has been adamant that this idea would spark racial division.

During the Kadavu Provincial Council Meeting, Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama, highlighted that it has been 15 years since Fiji operated without the council and that the Government has worked hard to maintain peace among all races.

“I know it is a sensitive topic to us. We are easily swayed when this is encouraged,” he said.


“Do not let it bother you.”

Apart from this, Unity Fiji has mapped out efforts it would carry out to fight poverty in the country if it forms the next Government.

Known as the Economic Transformation Programme, it will provide machines, build processing centers, find markets, provide capital including the establishments of a natural resource commercial bank, and change mindsets.


Mr Narube said the programme would narrow the income disparity by providing many jobs and incomes to rural people.

He said they would raise the income tax threshold to $40,000 and reduce income taxes for those earnings less than $50,000.

The party has plans to increase the minimum wages to $5 an hour to help with the high cost of living and also reduce border taxes on selected items to reduce prices while increasing cane price to $110 a tonne to help sugarcane farmers.


Interestingly, Mr Narube said they would remove contracts for civil servants except for the three top positions (permanent secretary, deputy secretary and director level) and move up retirement age to 60 years.

Mr Narube said they would reimburse COVID19 withdrawals from the Fiji National Provident Fund.

“Unity Fiji firmly believes that this manifesto together with our proven leadership will restore hope and freedom and take us to where the world should be,” Mr Narube said.


Mr Narube said there would be an increase of $200 million in the health budget to improve health facilities, provide necessary medicines and improve health services.

He said there would increase allocation of housing by $100 million to build 1000 houses per year.

“TELS (Tertiary Education Loans Scheme) will be forgiven,” he said.


There will also be a reform in the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption to be politically independent and re-establish the independence of Government watchdogs like the Auditor General.

Looking at the past, Mr Narube mentioned that they would compensate the strikers at the Vatukoula Gold Mine and compensate peacekeepers for their rightful allowances that he claimed were spent by the Government.


The former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji said the total expenditure the changes highlighted in the manifesto was about the same as the Government’s budget but the mix was different.

“We will maximize our access to aid funding through better designed programmes that fit the preference of both traditional and non-traditional donors,” he said.


He said there would be savings of over $1 billion from expenditure reforms and efficiency gains.

“Estimated the impact of the manifesto on the expenditure, income, deficit and borrowing and consolidated them into a budget framework,” he said.


“In summary, we have a lower deficit than Government’s budget which means that we will borrow less. We will shift our borrowing to the local market to lower the cost of borrowing and avoid exchange rate valuation losses.”




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