A fun­da­men­tal Bud­get

Fiji Sun - - Comment -

Sailesh Singh Cun­ning­ham Rd, Suva

I don't agree with Pro­fes­sor Naidu that the 2018-2019 Na­tional Bud­get fails to pro­vide sup­port to those liv­ing be­low the poverty line.

But I agree that the amount al­lo­cated to the se­cu­rity forces is a bit over the top.

Naidu frets about na­tional debt, qual­ity of poli­cies and pro­grammes, overseas and local con­trac­tors, etc, - but his anal­y­sis and con­cerns are mis­placed.

First, let's cut the chit-chat and agree that Naidu's view­point is clearly in line with those of the op­po­si­tion.

Se­condly, Naidu fails to an­a­lyse an im­por­tant and fun­da­men­tal as­pect of the bud­get i.e. equip­ping those be­low the poverty level.

Arm­ing cit­i­zens with tools to suc­ceed is what makes the cur­rent Bain­i­marama gov­ern­ment stand out.

Sure, I worry about the poli­cies and pro­grammes that pro­vide equal direct wel­fare schemes to the Fi­jian com­mu­nity, but let's also worry that no pre­vi­ous Fi­jian gov­ern­ment ever did that. Let's worry about those who spend only a hand­ful of qual­ity time with their fam­ily and the rest of the day work­ing for em­ploy­ers with­out any real ben­e­fits.

Let's worry about those that are will­ing to do any­thing to stop progress.

Lastly, in­come in­equal­ity con­tin­ues to grow and this bud­get makes an ef­fort to pull peo­ple out of poverty.

There have been ex­per­i­ments to help peo­ple pull out of poverty by var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions or gov­ern­ments in Fin­land, Italy, Uganda, Cam­bo­dia, In­dia and now United States.

I say let's sing praises be­cause un­less some­one makes an ef­fort we won't know if it worked.

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