Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Lenora Qereqeretabua says the 2023-2024 National Budget’s welfare policies are very well targeted to address the VAT effects on the people who need it the most.
While speaking in parliament, Qereqeretabua says all of us have to pay for the mess left behind by the two legged stool of a government.
She says this is a budget that lays the firm foundation of rebuilding our future together, a budget that caters for the advancement of everyone and has come against the backdrop where more than $1 billion or 25 percent of the money the government spends is to be applied to paying interest and principal on our debts.
She further says the Fiscal Review Committee and the Ministry of Finance have put forth a budget that is smart and restorative and is an example of what can be achieved when we are united, open and consultative.
Qereqeretabua says durable solutions are realised when the very people whose lives are affected are involved in that search for solutions.
The Assistant Minister further says the $4 million allocated for the reopening of the three diplomatic missions in Port Moresby, Washington and Kuala Lumpur signals the coalition government's commitment to restoring Fiji's presence to countries that have been and will continue to be major security and development partners. Qereqeretabua says the focus will be on widening cooperation on a number of complementary fronts and our selectiveness is key to optimising our opportunities.
She says our physical presence in selected regions and countries is needed at a time when we reach out to our friends for we do not have everything we need to deal with the issues that are transnational in nature, and require cooperative responses.
The Assistant Minister says however, the general state of disrepair of some of our mission properties, after years of neglect reflects very poorly on us.
She adds the $2.2 million allocated for capital refurbishment work is a start and therefore greatly welcomed.
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