We are paying off 1 billion dollars of FijiFirst Government debt in the new financial year and the Opposition appears to have short memories, alleging that the Coalition Government would be responsible for raising that debt level to beyond $10 billion.
Those are the words of Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Filimoni Vosarogo who says what the FijiFirst don’t appear to accept is that they were responsible for the increase of the national debt from around $2.8 billion in 2006 to approximately more than $9 billion in 2022.
He also says it is the height of blankness, to all of a sudden allege the coalition government of high deficit of over $600 million when they have lived on high borrowing and high deficits in all these years between 2007-2022.
Vosarogo says someone said on social media when the Leader of Opposition labeled the Coalition Government as spending like drunkards in a nightclub in this budget that if that was true, they were, in their time, spending like druggies, and in open daylight.
He also says 15 percent VAT isn’t new in Fiji and certainly, isn’t new to the FijiFirst Party.
Vosarogo says between 2011–2015, there was 15 percent VAT.
He says it was necessary to do so to lift our country’s revenue earning.
The Lands Minister says everything is linked to everything else.
Vosarogo says the old adage that warns people who point a finger like the opposition are doing this week – when you point a finger, remember, 4 are pointing at you.
He told the opposition to take responsibility for the mess they have created: $506 million dollar hole that was identified by the Deputy Prime Minister, Manoa Kamikamica in his speech; rebate to movie companies; rebate to oil companies, money that could have been better utilized in the upkeep of national infrastructure such as the roads, water and electricity grid, health and education; and excessive borrowing – it is what you do and how you spend it that is more important.
He says people know from the FijiFirst Government record, they score a big fail in their scorecard.
Vosarogo says they harp about institutional interference and constitutional violations.
He says to the Opposition members to take a long look in the mirror – as they have the worst record of interference and nepotism since 2006.
Vosarogo also asks them how do they explain linen in Suva taken to Nadi for washing and returned to Suva for use at the largest hospital of our country.
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