Politics

27th March

COVID-19 Budget: FTUC – Government telling workers to fend for themselves

The Fiji Trades Union Congress has said: “Government is telling workers to fend for themselves”. FTUC general secretary Felix Anthony made the comments in reaction to the COVID-19 Supplementary Budget. The Government announced workers who...

COVID-19 Budget: Pandemic to depress domestic activity – Fiscal Supplement

The impact of COVID-19 will further depress domestic business activity. The uncertainty surrounding it poses further risks to foreign direct investment flows. And the spill-over effects on the tourism sector and imposition of movement restrictions will affect businesses in general. These are noted in the economic and fiscal update supplement to the COVID-19 Response Supplementary...

COVID-19 Budget: Increased deficit level gives sharp rise to debt – Fiscal Supplement

The Fijian Government’s debt is projected to be $6,988.9million, equivalent to 60.9 per cent of GDP by the end of July, 2020. This is stated in the economic and fiscal update supplement to the COVID-19 Response Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 that was presented in Parliament last night. “The sharp increase in the debt to GDP...

COVID-19 Budget: Fiji’s economy to contract by 4.3 per cent – Fiscal update supplement

The Fijian economy is expected to contract by 4.3 per cent this year after a 0.5 per cent growth in 2019. This is stated in the economic and fiscal update supplement to the COVID-19 Response Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 that was delivered in Parliament last night. “The economic decline will be much sharper depending on...

26th March

COVID-19 Budget: Reduced loan repayments for those who lost jobs

Fijians who have lost their jobs and have pending loan payments will have their repayments reduced. “Deferred loan repayments for six months for any Fijian who have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced,” said Minister for Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum during the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 in Response to COVID-19 Budget. “Mortgages, personal loans, even...

COVID-19 Budget: $1m for Agriculture ministry

The Ministry of Agriculture will receive a $1million boost. “There’s also an additional $1m allocation towards the Ministry of Agriculture to bolster Fiji’s food security COVID-19Budget,” said Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.  

COVID-19 Budget: 20 per cent pay cut for ministers and their assistants

Fiji’s Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has announced a 20 per cent pay-cut for Ministers and Assistant Ministers. He said there would be no salary cut for civil servants. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the pay cut for Ministers and Assistant Ministers would be for six months. He said this would amount to $400,000.

COVID-19 Budget: FSC to receive $50m

Fiji’s Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has announced the Fiji Sugar Corporation will get $50million in the COVID-19 supplementary budget. He said the money would be used for cane delivery payments. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Government was looking at balancing the balance of FSC.  

COVID-19 Budget: $5m boost for SMEs

The Small and Medium Enterprises Credit Guarantee Scheme will get a $5million boost. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said during the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 in Response to COVID-19. “An additional $5million will be added to the small and medium enterprises credit guarantee scheme,” he said. “Under this scheme, if any of these businesses with...

COVID-19 Budget: 300 per cent tax deduction for employers of quarantined workers

A 300 per cent tax deduction will be paid to employers for wages and salaries paid to employees who are self-quarantined, says the Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. He said it would only be made applicable to those who had sought the approval of the Health Ministry.  

COVID-19 Budget: Health Ministry to get $40m supplementary budget

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has said announced the Ministry of Health will get $40million in the COVID-19 supplementary appropriation bill 2020. The Ministry’s current budget is $347million. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum stated the additional money would be used to purchase new ventilators, face-masks and protective gear.

COVID-19 Budget: Fijians who tested positive will be paid 21 days sick leave

Fijians who tested positive to COVID-19 will not have to worry about sick leave. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said during the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 COVID-19 Response Budget. “To shift the burden of sick leave off of businesses and ensure employees do not have to use their leave, the Government will pay 21 days...

COVID-19 Budget: Informal sector affected by lockdown will be assisted

The informal sector affected by the Government-sanctioned lockdowns will also get assistance. Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said during the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 COVID-19 Response Budget. “Furthermore, for those affected in the informal sector in the lockdown areas, Government will also be providing a one-off relief payment of $150 dollars for all those who...

COVID-19 Budget: Affected Lautoka residents can access $500 from FNPF

Lautoka residents affected by the quarantine or Government lockdown can access $500 from their FNPF. Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said during the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 COVID19 Response Budget. “All those employees affected by our nationwide physical distancing requirements, along with employees in the Lautoka confined area who have been placed on leave without...

COVID-19 Budget: Several incentives announced

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has announced several incentives in the COVID-19 supplementary appropriation bill 2020 in Parliament. Workers in the tourism sector who lost their jobs from February 1, 2020, can access $1000 after the bill is passed. Workers who were working in gyms can withdraw $500. If any person has less the amount authorised,...

COVID-19 Budget: Hotel workers who lost jobs can access $1k from FNPF

Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has announced that all tourism and hospitality employees who had lost their jobs or had their working hours cut will be able to access $1000 from their Fiji National Provident Fund(FNPF) account. He said for those who do not have $1000 in their FNPF account, the Government...

COVID-19 Budget: Government to offer $1bn stimulus package

The Government will partner with FNPF to offer members a $1Billion COVID19 Stimulus Package. Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announced during the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 COVID19 Response tonight. “Together with the Fiji National Provident Fund and our financial sector partners, this evening we are announcing a $1bn COVID-19 Stimulus Package,” he said. “This budget...

COVID-19 Budget: Health Minister rejects Opposition claims

Health Minister Dr Ifereimi Waqainaete rejected claims by outspoken Opposition MP Niko Naiwaikula that Government brought COVID-19 to Fiji. “The Fijian Government did not bring coronavirus to the country,” he said. He said Government had introduced the health declaration card where travelers were to declare if they were unwell. Dr Waqainabete said the flight attendant...

COVID-19 Budget: Virus can wipe out Fiji’s tourism industry – A-G

Fiji’s Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says Fiji’s tourism industry can be wiped out by COVID-19. He made the comments while presenting the COVID-19 response supplementary appropriation bill 2020 in Parliament. “Over the next few months, the tourism sector will be gone,” he said. “Thirty-eight per cent of our GDP will be wiped out.” Mr...

COVID-19 Budget: ‘We have a crisis of life’ – A-G

Fiji’s Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has begun presenting the COVID-19 response supplementary appropriation bill 2020 in Parliament. “These are not normal times,” he said. “This is a crisis bigger than any seen in the world. “COVID-19 has to be battled just like a military war.” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was clear “we have a...

COVID-19 Budget: Shame on Opposition for condemning national airline

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says it is a shame the Opposition has been condemning the national airline and comparing it to a coffin box. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the Opposition should be mindful of the fact that those people affected by COVID-19 were eagerly waiting for the Supplementary Budget to be announced informing...

COVID-19 Budget: Opposition creates uproar

Opposition created an uproar in Parliament this evening when MP Niko Nawaikula said the Government was responsible for bringing COVID-19 into Fiji. He claimed due to their negligence, the pandemic entered Fiji. Mr Nawaikula said the public had stated over and over for the Government to close Fiji’s borders but they chose not to. Attorney-General...

COVID-19 Budget: Parliament continues debate on motion

Parliament continues to debate a motion on whether or not to fast-track the COVID-19 response supplementary appropriation bill 2020. The Government has proposed the bill to pass tomorrow after a 3-hour debate. The Opposition has said the Government side is flaunting section 102 of the Standing Orders. The Standing Order states under “Supplementary Estimates” the...

COVID-19 Budget: Nine amendment bills put forward

A total of nine amendment Bills have been put forward by Minister for Economy and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. During the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2020 in response to COVID-19 announcement in Parliament this evening, he said the amendment Bills would be the Appropriation Bill, the Tax Amendment Bill, the Income Tax Amendment Bill, Value Added Tax...

COVID-19 Budget: Approach by Government similar to shadow boxing – MP Bulitavu

Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) member Mosese Bulitavu says the approach used by the Government tonight is similar to shadow boxing. He said the Government had once again failed to take into account the interest of its own people. Mr Bulitavu said the decision to debate and fast-track the COVID-19 response budget was unacceptable and this...

COVID-19 Budget: Government’s move an ‘ambush’ – MP Gavoka

Opposition member Viliame Gavoka has labelled the move by the Government to fast-track the COVID-19 response budget as an “ambush”. Mr Gavoka also described the Government’s move as “irresponsible”. He said it was a mockery of the system and also on what people believed in. Mr Gavoka said the Government acted like they were acting...

COVID-19 Budget: Tikoduadua demands accountability

National Federation Party president Pio Tikoduadua says fast-tracking the COVID-19 response budget where it was going to be considered in three hours would be a “rushed-through process”. He said times of emergencies had come and gone and the world had been through many world wars and “even a war was guided by rules”. “We demand...

COVID-19 Budget: A-G – 25,000-plus workers lost jobs

MORE than 25,000 people have lost their jobs in the tourism industry directly due to COVID-19. This was the word from Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in Parliament this evening. He said it was important to expedite the COVID-19 response budget process because workers needed to access their Fiji National Provident Fund immediately. This was supported...

COVID-19 Budget: A-G says Government is proposing $60m job loss aid

Fiji’s Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said the Government was proposing $60million to directly assist those who do not have jobs because of the COVID-19 crisis. He made the comment in Parliament this evening while responding to comments made by National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad. Leader of Government in Parliament...

COVID-19 Budget: NFP leader notes party had proposed bipartisanship

National Federation Party leader Dr Biman Prasad has stated in Parliament that they had proposed bipartisanship in preparation and passage of the coronavirus response supplementary budget. He said in Parliament this evening that the NFP wanted this as a “genuine spirit of bipartisanship”. The Government has proposed a fast-track passing of the COVID-19 response supplementary appropriation...

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