Easter holidays dampened by PM’s message of difficult times ahead - Chaudhry

Easter holidays dampened by PM’s message of difficult times ahead - Chaudhry

By Alipate Narawa
Saturday 08/04/2023
Fiji Labour Party Leader, Mahendra Chaudhry

Easter is a time of hope, love and happiness when Christians celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Christ.

Fiji Labour Party Leader, Mahendra Chaudhry says their message to the people is to forget their expectations, watch their spending and prepare for even more difficult times ahead after a rather sombre message, from Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka warning of “difficult times ahead”.

He also says it should be pointed out, however, that 2013 imposed Constitution is the biggest hurdle in the way of genuine democracy for our nation and its citizens.

He adds that coalition partners have been critical of it, but it remains to be seen whether they have the political will and the courage to replace it with a constitution that will hold governments accountable to the people, guaranteeing them universal human rights and freedoms as free and equal citizens?

Chaudhry also says equally disturbing was his notice to the nation not to expect any “good news” from the Fiscal Review Committee either.

He further says a clear message that we are headed not only for hard times but even a lengthy period of austerity.

The PM’s warning comes hard on the heels of one sounded earlier by Finance Minister Biman Prasad that “increases in taxation are inevitable”.

The Party leader adds these warnings are clear indications that Fiji is now well and truly in the ‘bail out’ mode of the International Monetary Fund.

He also adds barely three months into the coalition government taking office, it appears to have succumbed lock, stock and barrel to the IMF prescription for nations in financial and economic distress.

Chaudhry further adds this is indeed a huge disappointment to all those people who were looking for better times and fast relief from the ever-rising cost of living when they voted for the Coalition partners in the last elections.

He says the Labour Party has been warning the nation for weeks now that the coalition partners are backing off on their election promises to provide relief to the suffering public.

The Party leader also says one wonders why the Coalition has not chosen to seek softer, less bitter, options which are available.

Chaudhry adds on the bright side, the coalition has delivered on some non-bread and butter issues, restoring freedoms and rights which were removed arbitrarily by the Bainimarama government.

He also adds they are thankful for these and look forward to a much more robust performance from the media from now onwards.

We have sent questions to the Government, and they are expected to respond later today.

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