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National Budget From A Hotel Room

Issue No: 217; 22 November 2000

In an unprecedented move the interim regime today delivered a statement on 2001 budget from a hotel room. Most previous budgets have been delivered by Peoples' representatives in the House of Representatives.

The budget was presented despite the High Court ruling that the interim regime has no legal basis. The regime and civil servants have been reminded that there is no legal foundation for its 2001 budget. Civil servants acting to implement policy changes risk surcharge.

The Assistant Minister for Fijian Affairs in the People's Coalition Government, Ratu Isireli Vuibau, is filing for a judicial review in the High Court against the decision of the civil servants to disburse funds to the people holding power illegally. Vuibau is seeking the return of all monies paid to the interim regime ministers as well as surcharging all board members enjoying perks in state-owned companies.

Meanwhile the interim regime's minister for Finance Ratu Jone Kubuabola today announced major changes in polices by introducing changes to the tax regime, and expenditure policies. These changes will impoverish the have-nots and enrich the haves.

Full details of the budget can be obtained from the People's Coalition Government on request. The People's Coalition government also released its own budget for the year 2001. The full text of this will be published on 23 November.

END 22 November 2000

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