The National Federation Party says Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s claim that the FijiFirst Party has managed the economy better than any other government, is a bad joke.
While speaking at the Lau Provincial Council Meeting, Bainimarama said Fiji is once again on the move as a nation and we have arrived at this point because we never panicked or lost our way.
He says they had a plan and now under a steady hand of economic management, they are poised for double digit economic growth in 2022.
Bainimarama says we all know that a strong economy means government can do more to help the people which is why he values proven economic expertise on the team he leads.
The Prime Minister adds this is why they have managed the economy better than any Fijian government in history.
However in a statement, NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad says the Fijian Government is now deeper in debt than ever before and its economic management is out of control.
Prasad says government is just borrowing and spending to get re-elected.
He says the government has not invested for the future in the three most critical sectors for the growth of our economy which is education, health and infrastructure.
Prasad says for the last 10 years, the government has poured borrowed money into the economy to make it grow so that it can claim continuous economic growth but the rate of growth which was not much more than 3% has still been weak.
The NFP Leader says a successful developing country's economy should grow at well above 5% per year based on real private investment and not borrowed government money.
He adds the government spending party ended in 2019 when it finally realised that the borrowing and spending could not continue and as soon as the government cut its spending, the economy went backwards.
Prasad says all of this was before COVID-19 came along.
He says after the pandemic, the government was forced to borrow more which has left Fiji at dangerous levels of debt.
Prasad also says for 15 years the FijiFirst Party has dished out freebies and spent poorly on roads while the education system has gone backwards and the health system is in near collapse.
He says Fiji’s people and not its government will grow the economy as long as the government works with the people, listens to what they need and works alongside them.
Prasad adds this is the role of the government in the economy and this is where Bainimarama and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum have completely failed in their management of our economy.
He says this is why, for the sake of Fiji, they have to be kicked out of office.
We have sent questions to the Prime Minister regarding the comments made by Prasad. He is yet to respond.
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