Showing posts from November 27, 2011

Fiji has moved on and Australia must play by the new rules

by: Michael O'KeefeFrom:The Australian December 29, 201112:00AM

A KEY assumption underlying Australian foreign policy towards Fiji may prove to be false. Even if sanctions are lifted, Fiji may not welcome Australia with open arms. Australia now faces a mature and confident Fiji across the negotiating table and elements in the Fijian government are truly "looking north".

Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Allen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.

Need for Education Check Up

I refer to the TV news where we are told we have a lack of town planners. The lack of town planners speaks volumes about where the education system in Fiji has fallen short. While we have a dynamic education system and educationists, there are many vital jobs that are not catered for, probably for many reasons. In today’s world glamour is the way to go – pilot, aircraft engineer and flight attendant are chief amongst them. Yet that market is very small.

Many of our urban areas flood when there is torrential rain, we ask why, simply because of blocked drains. It doesn’t need a rocket scientist to know and prepare and clean drains during prolonged dry   periods. Town pl…

It's exciting, say iTaukei women

SOQOSOQO Vakamarama leader Adi Finau Tabakaucoro has come out in support of the 2012 Budget announced by Prime Minister and Finance Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama on Friday.
"It's interesting and exciting and very positive," said the former assistant minister for women and social welfare.

From the Fiji Labour Party Website

Budget 2012 [posted 25 Nov 2011,1445]

The 2012 Budget will destabilize State finances and will most likely lead to increases in indirect taxes to offset the huge reductions in personal and corporate tax rates.

Elections: Looking Back and Forwards

Report found massive faults in 2006 elections
Friday, December 02, 2011
A report on the 2006 elections has pointed out major faults during the campaign. elections.

The report was compiled by the EU Electoral Observer Mission that was present in Fiji at that time.

Pensioners question pension legality

Pensioners question pension legality From Radio Fiji Pensioners have questioned the legality of the new pension rate. The Fiji National Provident Fund held a public consultation at the Civic Centre in Suva where a majority of pensioners voiced their concerns. Seona Smiles says FNPF’s new rate is illegal. “36% is going to lose by the new arrangement are basically being punished for a lack of inaction and a lack of accountability and a lack of transparency by the FNPF - we should not be punished - there is a legal action in front of the court and I wonder what best practice advices changing the law while the matter is still under consideration in the court”

PCN's Budget Submission

We at the People’s Community Network are grateful for the opportunity to contribute our suggestions to the formulation of the 2012 National Budget. As an organisation which works with the grass-roots people of the country – the workers and the poor – we feel we have an important perspective to offer for the Budget, especially in view of the priorities of the People’s Charter and the Millennium Development Goals.

Australian policy on Fiji “dysfunctional”, says report

Fiji's military leader and Prime Minister, Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama. Photo: Selwyn Manning
Pacific Scoop:
Commentary – By Graham Davis

The folly of Australian policy towards Fiji is at the centre of a damning new landmark report that suggests the United States has lost confidence in Canberra’s ability to influence events in the Pacific and counter rising Chinese influence in the region.
It calls for the immediate and unconditional lifting of regional sanctions against Fiji and for Australia to “repair its relationship at the highest level” by re-engaging with the Bainimarama regime through the Pacific Islands Forum.
“It is well past the time to treat this festering regional wound”, it declares.
The report – covering all aspects of Australia’s relations with the Pacific and entitled “Our Near Abroad” – has been issued by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), an independent, government-funded think tank set up in 2001 to advise Canberra on its defence and strat…
Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum announced today that the President, His Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatikau has appointed Christopher Thomas Pryde as the Director of Public Prosecutions. Mr Pryde has been serving as Fiji’s Solicitor-General since 2007 and Permanent Secretary for Justice & Anti- corruption since 2009, positions he will relinquish.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is an independent entity and represents the State in criminal cases. The Deputy Solicitor-General Sharvada Sharma will serve as Acting Solicitor-General.
The Attorney-General also thanked outgoing Director of Public Prosecutions Ayesha Jinasena for her service. She will return home to Sri Lanka.

Reactions to the 2011 Budget

The PM's Budget Address. Click Fiji Government Online
Price Waterhouse summary of Budget. Click to download

Australian Broadcating Corporation Fiji budget slashes income and company taxes. Bruce Hill interviews Prof Biman Prasad who says the budget "represents one of the most significant changes to Fiji's economy in recent years." Fiji's budget has slashed taxes on poor and middle income earners and corporations in what is being described as a bold initiative to stimulate growth. The top income tax rate of 31 per cent has been reduced to only twenty, and the tax paid by corporations comes down from 28 per cent to twenty. The requirement for overseas companies to be at least forty per cent locally owned has been removed.

Unfortunately Radio NZ International failed to compete with its trans-Tasman cousin. It could only cite Bainimarama (the Budget would "empower Fijians, modernise the nation a…