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Narube calls on govt to reduce salaries of Ministers, MPs and civil servants and to temporarily increase VAT to 12% but exempt essential food items

Narube calls on govt to reduce salaries of Ministers, MPs and civil servants and to temporarily increase VAT to 12% but exempt essential food items

By Iva Danford
Friday 10/07/2020
Unity Fiji Leader and former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Savenaca Narube

Unity Fiji Leader and former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Savenaca Narube is calling on government to reduce salaries of Ministers, MPs and civil servants and has also proposed to temporarily increase VAT back to 12 percent but exempt essential food items.

Narube highlighted this while presenting the party's alternative 2020-2021 national budget today.

He says government ministers and MPs salaries must be reduced by a further 10 percent including all allowances, reduce salaries of top civil servants from Director level upwards by 20 percent and reduce salaries of all other civil servants by a maximum of 10 percent but to a floor of $30,000.

Narube says these are some areas of savings that they have identified.

He says government grants through State Owned Enterprises and statutory bodies have exploded like the allocation to the international PR company, Qorvis.

Narube says government should also review all contracts of expatriates in the civil service and State Owned Enterprises to the view of localizing the positions if locals can meet the requirements.

He says they have also identified other saving areas like closing our embassies that should not have been opened.

Narube says they estimate that they can save $1.5 billion in total with all these actions taken.

He says they propose to plough back $1 billion to priority areas by reconstituting the government budget.

He says they also propose to increase the marginal tax rate by 10 percent, those earning above $100,000 to 35 percent.

Narube says the social responsibility tax which applies to those earning over $150,000 should increase by 20 percent.

He says a temporary company tax surcharge of 20 percent should be imposed to those companies making super profits.

Narube says import duties should be increased on all passenger vehicles by 100 percent excluding heavy machinery and trucks, excise duty on alcohol and tobacco should increase by at least 20 percent and a 10 percent NCD levy on all sugar preservatives, salt based products and carbonated drinks should be imposed.

He says the telecommunications levy should increase by 10 percent.

The Unity Fiji Leader says they have also proposed that Environmental and Climate Adaptation Levy be removed and departure tax should be reduced by 50 percent.

He says government should also increase fuel rebate concessions for domestic shipping and the fishing industry.

Narube says Unity Fiji’s alternative budget brings in the sale of $100 million worth of share in EFL, and $50 million worth of shares in ATH in 2022 and suggested that these shares be sold locally.

He says they have approached the government in the spirit of working together and finding a solution in a number of ways, but there has been no response at all from government. 

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