Key initiatives in the budget are expected to address economic shortfalls - Lockington

Key initiatives in the budget are expected to address economic shortfalls - Lockington

By Dhanjay Deo
Tuesday 20/07/2021
Chief Executive Officer Fantasha Lockington.

The Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association says key initiatives announced in the 2021/2022 National Budget are expected to address the economic shortfalls with many support programs being continued from last year and new ones being introduced for the unemployed.

Chief Executive Officer Fantasha Lockington says with the tourism industry being forced to shed approximately 60% of its 130,000 employees, the focus on income support for the unemployed is a welcome and critical feature.

She says the tourism industry alone contributed $3 billion in taxes and foreign exchange earnings in 2019 and it is clear the Fijian economy is feeling this gaping hole and the industry is keen to take advantage of what has been offered and work towards getting back to work safer.

Lockington says the industry recognized early that vaccination was the only way out of this current crisis and are encouraged to see this as one of the key focus areas of the National Budget.

She adds the focus on vaccination as a condition of employment is the biggest milestone to achieve for Fiji to get its largest industry back to work under safer work conditions.

Lockington says they also welcome the retention of tax reforms that were introduced last year that the industry has not been able to take advantage of to a larger extent because of closed borders.

Lockington says the association also welcomes the inclusion this year of other business support measures where fees and charges for licensing and compliance is either being waived or will be paid for by Government through its COVID-19 recovery credit guarantee scheme. $200 million has been made available for micro, small and medium enterprises to meet their operational needs, including payment of wages and salaries, rental cost, utility bills, purchase of stocks and other working capital requirements.

She says the Association will support members to access this scheme.

Lockington further says as Fiji prepares for borders to reopen later this year once the 80% adult population vaccination requirement is reached, businesses that have been closed for over 12 months, or operating intermittently at a fraction of their size need to prudently manage what their reopening will look like.

Latest Videos

Stay tuned for the latest news on our radio stations

CFL radio frequencies
2022 Coca-Cola Games
Fiji Secondary Schools Athletics Association General Secretary, Vuli Waqa says they are expecting around 2,500 athletes from 135 schools to participate in this year’s Fiji Finals.
1 day ago

Commonwealth Games 2022
98 athletes carry the hopes of the nation to the 2022 Commonwealth Games
8 days ago

2022-2023 National Budget Debate
The 2022/2023 National Budget Debate full coverage.
15 days ago
People's Alliance removes Liliana Warid’s post
Following enquiries by the Supervisor of Elections in relation to a Facebook post that potentially breached Section 116 of the Electoral Act, the Peop...
36 minutes ago
1-year-old, Lavenia Nabure receives gift of life after successful heart surgery at Children's Heart Hospital
One-year-old Lavenia Nabure who was diagnosed with congenital heart condition has been given the gift of life after a successful heart surgery at the ...
4 minutes ago

FNU to embark on engineering projects following MOU signing with iMGINE Engineering & Technologies Ltd
The Fiji National University will embark on engineering projects in the areas of finance, health, automation of transportation and maritime systems, ...
4 hours ago

4 districts to benefit from new Wainikoro Government Station
More than 800 farmers in four districts of Macuata will benefit from the new Wainikoro Government Station in Nadogo. While opening the station, ...
4 hours ago

13 complaints made against surveyors, some of them took thousands of dollars
13 complaints have been made against surveyors with a monetary value of $36,000 in the last 6 months, according to the Consumer Council of ...
5 hours ago

Programs like Recycling On the Go Ambassadors and Student Environment Ambassadors should be encouraged with youths across the country and the region - Deo
Waste Recyclers Fiji Limited Director/CEO and Pacific Recycling Foundation Founder Amitesh Deo says while the International Youth Day festivities ...
18 hours ago