Govt has not moved quickly enough to improve immigration measures to bring in skills Fiji needs – Fiscal Review Comm

Govt has not moved quickly enough to improve immigration measures to bring in skills Fiji needs – Fiscal Review Comm

By Vijay Narayan
Monday 17/06/2024
Richard Naidu

The Fiscal Review Committee says the government has not responded to the developments with urgency and flexibility that is needed relating to the debilitating loss of skills Fiji continues to suffer as people migrate or depart on work permits, principally to Australia and New Zealand, in response to their unprecedented demand for labour including in lower-skilled jobs.

In a letter to the Deputy Prime Minister, Professor Biman Prasad, the Richard Naidu led committee says in particular, the government has not moved quickly enough to improve immigration measures to bring in the skills Fiji needs and replace the skills Fiji has lost.

The committee says the government has also not been able to deliver key initiatives, particularly on its capital expenditure programme, which could create the additional economic activity to fill the gap between actual rate of growth and the rate which is necessary (minimum 5 percent per annum) to ensure improved economic and social outcomes for Fiji’s people.

It says this, too, is in part a function of the current lack of skills Fiji needs to successfully deliver projects.

The Fiscal Review Committee says public confidence in the quality of government administration is critical to achieving its economic objectives.

It says citizens will not support government initiatives or align their energies with them – whether as investors, volunteers, public servants or even taxpayers – if they do not believe that the government is working effectively and productively in the nation’s interest.

In the Committee’s view the broad public sense is that the government is not working to full capacity - or particularly productively.

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