By: Peni Komaisavai
Fiji’s minister for economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum will hand down the country’s national 2020 budget in parliament later today.
National parliament is sitting this evening to hear the budget announcement by the minister amidst warnings by politicians that the country should brace for tough economic times ahead.
Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka convened a press conference on the eve of the budget announcement to call for the abandonment of what he calls “the Aiyaznomics” of the government of Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama.
He told journalists that the government’s expansionary budgets under the Aiyaznomics model must go.
“I am of the view that government should immediately stop its expansionary approach under the Aiyaznomics model and try and consolidate the budget to ensure that fiscal space is available to cushion any impact of “lurking challenges” that can turn into an economic crisis in the short term,” Rabuka said.
“The current trend is we have an economy where expenditure is driving the revenue, when it is supposed to be revenue driving expenditure, therefore it is important that the Bainimarama Government should not be misleading the nation and adjusting statistics to suit its own agenda.”
Rabuka is urging the Fijian Government to put more emphasis in policies that offer incentives for investments by reducing its own investment portfolios to encourage the private sector to drive economic growth.
“It is time that we as a nation put aside our differences, political beliefs and ideologies and work together to minimise the risk of our economy collapsing.”