Cost of living concerns members of the public
People look forward to targeted measures in budget

Cost of living concerns members of the public

People look forward to targeted measures in budget

As people await the announcement of the 2022/2023 National Budget tonight, cost of living remains a major issue.

People are looking forward to targeted measures in the National Budget that could decrease the cost of living which has become real concern.

Fijivillage spoke to people on the streets and asked what are their concerns.

A few market vendors from the interior of Viti Levu have raised that it is difficult to sell their produce due to lesser people buying vegetables and transportation cost has gone up to $30 to $50 due to the rise of fuel prices.

They also say that their returns are low in the market.

Shanil Deo who sells fruits at the Suva Market says he is not able to make enough sales to cater for his expenses.

He says with the high costs and low sales, some days his unsold produce goes bad.

He further says with the increase in fuel prices, the farmers are unable to deliver fruits and vegetables to the market.

The Reserve Bank of Fiji says the war in Ukraine continues to subvert major commodity markets, supply chains and trading partner economies, causing imported inflation to surge to 10 percent while domestic inflation stood at 3.4 percent.

Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has said in budget consultation sessions that fuel prices are above US$100/barrel for some time, and the Russia-Ukraine war and supply disruptions has affected the prices of fuel, wheat, fertilizer and other goods.

He also says there has also been a substantial increase in freight costs due to supply-chain issues.

Sayed-Khaiyum says food prices are also at an all-time high measured by the FAO food price index. This includes meat, dairy, sugar, cereals and vegetable oil.

He has also made it clear that government had to increase its borrowings to sustain the economy.

The Minister says the alternative of not borrowing and supporting the economy during the last 2 years would have been catastrophic.

He says the economic decline and socio-economic consequences would have been much more severe, including a large devaluation.

Sayed-Khaiyum also pointed out that almost every country increased its borrowing levels substantially.

The Minister will deliver the budget at 8 tonight. Stay with us for details on how the budget affects your pockets and your family as a whole.

We will look at the duties and taxes on goods and services that affect you and allocation of tax dollars to the different sectors as part of the provision of government services. You can also follow our coverage on our website and mobile app, fijivillage.

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