Wanted Balance, Solutions Not Negatives, Rotuma-Tuvalu Trade, Wages, Sick Comments
WANTED: BALANCE, SOLUTIONS. NOT WANTED: POSTERIORS, NEGATIVES. The Permanent Secretary for Information, Sharon Smith-Johns has refuted media reports made by Professor Warden Narsey on the state of Fiji’s economy and poverty levels.“He has contradicted his own figures, ignoring the positives and only discussing the negative,” Ms Smith-Johns said.
“Let’s look at his figures, Mr Narsey’s own data reveals that poverty in Fiji has indeed been reduced between the period 2002-03 to 2008-09. However, in a recent interview he states that the future for the Fiji Economy looks extremely bleak and poverty looks set to rise further.” The Permanent Secretary said at the national level, poverty levels had fallen from 35 per cent to 31 per cent.
Breaking this down into rural and urban, the urban poverty has declined from 28 per cent to 19 per cent a major reduction of 9 per cent, however in the rural areas poverty has raised from 40 per cent to 43 per cent an increase of 3 per cent.
“These people are quick to jump on the media bandwagon, however do they provide solutions or work with the Government. I don’t think so, it’s far too easy to sit behind a desk and look for all the negatives,” Ms Smith-Johns said. “Interesting enough Professor Narsey also acknowledges the lack of data between 2004 – 2007, which begs the question how can he possibly forecast the future of Fiji’s economy.
“It is only fair that the government’s achievements be honestly acknowledged by academics and other analysts. I urge us all to examine this with objectivity and balance and contribute to the development of the economy, rather than loiter around the fringe of its fundamentals.” -- 2010 No:1668/MOI.
ROTUMA-TUVALU TRADE UPDATE. The only approved trade at the moment is root crops, and the problem with fruit exports will soon be resolved with the installation of proper quarantine facilities on Rotuma. The only immediate problem is that Tuvalu may not be able to make a ship available due to the recent elections. A high temperature forced air plant to treat both fruits and vegetables awaits installation, and discussions are continuing between biosecurity officers from both countries for additional commodities to be included in the trade list. -- Based on 2010 No:1657/MOI. The trade is important for the food-limited Tuvalu atolls and for Rotuma whose exports until now have been limited by its remoteness from the remainder of Fiji. Rotuma is closer to Tuvalu than to Viti Levu.
BALANCING JUSTICE AND COMMONSENSE. It's never easy looking at a glass from both ends. The Fuel Retailers Association wants government to remove price control from retail fuel prices, saying that if it does not pumps will switch to self service on the 20th, with a loss of 400 jobs.They say price control and increasing costs have made it impossible for them to earn a reasonable rate of profit. The Consumer Council has urged the retailers to reconsider their decision and asks them to document their claim of a 10-20% drop in sales revenue.
In another story, the 15% wage increase, proposed by the Wages Council, could have a similar effect in today's economic climate, and perhaps should be introduced 5% at a time, as someone has suggested in a recent blog comment. But then employers invariably claim they cannot pay better wages, and they are shy about telling the public what they consider a "reasonable rate of profit," a profit made possible by both capital and labour. Perhaps some profit-sharing with labour based on audited productivity may be the way to go?
SICK, DELUDED COMMENTS. Some recent comments on the blog by anti-Government people can't be doing their side any good. To call Prof Richard Herr OAM PhD a "failed academic [who] is is working for the pro regime indo-Fijian focussed university of Fiji" and to call me an anti-Fijian, anti-Samoan racist won't cut any ice with anyone who knows anything at all about either of us. No wonder one of the writers called himself "Desperate Spin."
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