News and Comments 6 January 2012

WEEKEND READING.  •Allen Lockington Column   • More reactions to lifting of PER

6.1.12
PM Voreqe Bainimarama will address the nation this morning on the way forward for the public and all stakeholders when the Public Emergency Regulation will be lifted on Saturday.

THE AUSTRALIAN-Fiji Business Council has asked the Australian government to acknowledge the steps taken by its Fijian counterpart in lifting the Public Emergency Regulations. And the council has asked the Australian government to make some adjustments to the travel sanctions imposed on Fijians.

THE UK is looking forward to a public consultation process on a new constitution for Fiji which will commence next month. While welcoming the lifting of the Public Emergency Regulations, the UK government said the announcements were a step in the right direction.

RABUKA. FORMER Fiji Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka   believes Australia and New Zealand governments should consider their stance against Fiji following the decision of Prime Minister to lift the Public Emergency Regulation.

CREDIT CARD LEVY. A 2% levy on credit card balances came into effect on Jan 1. This was announced in the moderate anti-governmendt blog Fiji Today: "Government will now take 24% per annum of your credit card balance ... the money sharks." But 2% only becomes 24% if credit card users have an unpaid negative balance that remains consistent for 12 months. Why do the anti-blogs always see the worst possible scenarios?

Comments

Dubious Reader said…
Why do the anti-blogs always see the worst possible scenarios?

How about because 77% of Fijian credit card holders maintain a balance on their account and only pay the minimum each month.

How about because every decree that comes into play is the result of uninformed decisions by an unelected government.

How about because people are tired of reading misinformed opinions from people who live outside the country and have warped senses of what's going on.

Start there, Croz. You continually gloss over the reality of life in Fiji.

The lifting of the PER is not something to celebrate. It doesn't change anything. It's a PR move, likely encouraged by their $50,000 per month communications "consultants" in the United States.
Increase the sanctions said…
Croz
the travel sanctions are not placed on Fijians. They are appropriately place on the Fiji military and selected junta supporters? Two different things. The latest lifting of the PER shows the sanctions are working. Time for sanctions to be increased and more pressure put on the regime to return to democracy, freedom and the rule of law.
Anonymous said…
By the latest bank stats 72% of all credit cards in Fiji have an outstanding balance at the end of each month. The mere fact that these people have a credit card means they are in the better off group but if they are unable to meet the card payments then this is an added burden.

BASA
Anonymous said…
@ croz on 2% credit card levy.

Croz,

Imagine the outrage if the banks where to introduce a 2% monthly levy which does add up to 24%. The AG would be right in there laying in the boot and coming up with new laws. The consumer council would be talking everywhere and the commerce commission called in straight away. But because this is a government levy (read tax) and we know you are not alloud to say anything against government or thier actions we have instead....absolute silence.

Good on Fiji today for raising it.

Also this is a tax on those most vunerable to debt. Who do you think falls behind on payments ? Interestingly in Australia banks are being taken to court for charging penalty fees (fees when you are overdue). This is a penalty fee charged by Government ! Well we know decrees make it impossible to ever sue government so good luck to them in raising some extra revenue.
Anonymous said…
Great that the PER is to be lifted but if this means there is still "consequences" for speaking out against government decisions then it will be all in vein.
Anonymous said…
Don't the 72% of people with credit cards that do not pay their full balance know that they are paying over 20%pa interest on those balances? I guess not. So if the extra 2% the government has now added wakes up a few people that they should get their finances in order and realise that they should minimise credit card balances, then that will be a very good thing.
Anonymous said…
@ Anonymous

It is not another 2% the Government is charging but 24% per annum.

This on top of the 20% the banks charge makes a total of 44% per annum in total. This is enough to ensure those caught with a high balance may never be able to pay off the card.

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