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2021-2022 National Budget: A Bold And Decisive Budget

The astute allocation of coffers to key critical areas and targeted policy incentives announced in the 2021-2022 National Budget will be the conner stone in achieving socio-economic stability – helping Fijians reclaim the economy.

The Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF) views the 2021-2022 National Budget as a big bold budget that will create an enabling environment to foster financially strong and resilient economy which will ultimately benefit all Fijian consumers.

While commending the Government for the resilient budget, CCoF Chief Executive Officer Ms Seema Shandil said that the 2021-2022 National Budget is a holistic budget which will ensure no one – from businesses, to consumers and even the most vulnerable Fijians, are left behind as we strive to triumph over this pandemic.

“The various fiscal and economic policies announced by the Minister of Economy has sent a strong signal that they are committed to economic recovery from COVID 19 and are ready to keep spending to speed up the recovery. The 2021-2022 budget initiatives will encourage socio economic empowerment as a catalyst for a consumption driven economy.

Additional direct support to consumers through various policy announcements such as unemployment support of over $200 million is also praiseworthy as it will ensure consumers have the ability to access basic goods and services. This will provide the much-needed relief to thousands of eligible Fijians whose income has been affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other social protection and relief incentives announced in the budget such as extended bill payment period for consumers, decrease in traffic infringement fines, waiver of fees such as birth certificate registration and land survey will also ease some level of burden on consumers. These initiatives will put money back in the pockets of Fijian consumers.

“We have also been getting calls from a lot of consumers and small businesses saying that they are not being able to make their utility payments. We had also made a submission regarding this to the government and it gives us joy to see that the Government will be meeting the full cost of 34.01 cents per unit for 100 kilowatts of power usage for eligible Fijians,” said Ms Shandil.

Apart from these policies directly targeting consumers, many other initiatives announced by the Government will ultimately have a ripple effect along the entire economic chains – leading to economic growth and consumer welfare amidst the current pandemic. 

Last night’s budget announcements will certainly trigger consumer spending which is needed for positive growth of the economy as a whole. It is a fact that more money in consumers’ pockets means more spending and consequently more business for traders and ultimately positive economic growth. 

To seek advice on any consumer issue, Fijians can call the toll-free number 155 or lodge a complaint using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app.

© Scoop Media

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