Knowledge Bank

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Budget Debate | Hon. Prime Minister

“Elections are decided by the people –– and I answer to the people. So when my political opponents call this an elections budget, they really mean it is a people’s budget.

So is every budget that we have passed before it. Because we don’t work towards an election, we work for the people. When you serve the people, the people support you. It isn’t complicated.

They say our support and service to the people is “freebies”. With one silly word, they expose their own intellectual bankruptcy because a response like that is designed to cut off discussion, not engage in it.”

– Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister and Minister for iTaukei Affairs, Sugar Industry, Foreign Affairs and Forestry.


FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Budget Debate | Hon. Alvick Maharaj

“Under the decisive leadership, we leave no one behind. We assist everyone, and we don’t discriminate.”

– Hon. Alvick Maharaj, Assistant Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations; Youth and Sports


FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Budget Debate | Hon. Virendra Lal

“The results speak for themselves. Hundreds of SMEs are open and thriving throughout the country, creating jobs and contributing to Fiji’s GDP every single day.”

– Hon. Virendra Lal


FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Budget Debate | Hon. Premila Kumar

“The 2022-2023 National Budget once again proves that FijiFirst Government’s commitment to its people remains focused. This budget puts Fiji and Fijians on the path of recovery and seeks to lessen the economic shock caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.”

– Hon. Premila Kumar, Minister for Education, Heritage & Arts and Local Government


FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Budget Debate | Hon. Faiyaz Koya

“I want the whole of Fiji to hear this; the fact that the opposition calls every government support a freebie is absolutely gross, disrespect to our people.”

– Hon. Faiyaz Koya, Minister for Commerce, Trade, Tourism and Transport


FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Budget Debate | Hon. Semi Koroilavesau

“The Ministry of Fisheries will strengthen its commitment in playing a leadership role towards building Fiji’s blue economy.”

– Hon. Semi Koroilavesau, Minister for Fisheries


FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Budget Debate | Hon. Sanjay Kirpal

“Fijian people need a strong and dynamic leader like our Hon. Prime Minister who cares for everyone and with him, no one is left behind.”

– Hon. Sanjay Kirpal


FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Budget Debate | Hon. Dr Salik Govind

“The 2022-2023 Budget has taken some bold and positive steps to support our private sector, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs).”

– Hon. Dr Salik Govind


FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Budget Debate | Hon. Prime Minister

“We responded again by raising the National Minimum Wage, which, let’s not forget, this government introduced!”

– Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister and Minister for iTaukei Affairs, Sugar Industry, Foreign Affairs and Forestry.


FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Budget Debate | Hon. Selai Adimaitoga

“The cash support provided to families with children of that $30 per month per child may not seem like much to the privilege, but for many people, it will make a world of difference!”

– Hon. Selai Adimaitoga, Assistant Minister for iTaukei Affairs


FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Budget Debate | Hon. Prime Minister

“Fiji has been open and recovering for nearly 7 months. Creating jobs, paying wages, attracting investments – that’s what Decisiveness delivers!”

– Honourable Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister and Minister for iTaukei Affairs, Sugar Industry, Foreign Affairs and Forestry.


FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Budget Debate | Hon. Prime Minister

“We made Fiji the #1 country in tourism readiness in the entire Asia-Pacific.”

– Honourable Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister and Minister for iTaukei Affairs, Sugar Industry, Foreign Affairs and Forestry.


FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Budget Debate | Hon. Prime Minister

“Every day we worked to get back to the FijiFirst-forged path towards an economy that was diversifying, digitising, delivering resilient infrastructure in our communities, and breaking records for growth.”

– Honourable Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister and Minister for iTaukei Affairs, Sugar Industry, Foreign Affairs and Forestry.


FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Budget Debate | Hon. Prime Minister

“Winning at the highest level is all about preparation; it demands consistent practice to deliver an effective game plan strategy. That is true in sports, it is also true in government. And our game plan is our National Budget, we put before the people.”

– Honourable Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister and Minister for iTaukei Affairs, Sugar Industry, Foreign Affairs and Forestry.


FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | Support for Tertiary Students

Did you know that in the 2022-2023 National Budget, the Fijian Government will provide all Fijian students enrolled at any tertiary institutions, regardless of whether or not they are TELS/Toppers recipients a payout of $180 over a six-month period? About 30,000 students are expected to benefit from this scheme.

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | $30 Per Month For Pensioners

Did you know that in the 2022-2023 National Budget, the Fijian Government will provide $30 per month for pensioners? About 100,000 Fijians are expected to benefit from this initiative.

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | Zero-Rated VAT on 21 items

Budget 2022-2023: Fijian Government made 21 essential household items zero-rated VAT, which will remain VAT-exempt.

This unprecedented exemption measure has already saved consumers $50 million since its implementation on 1 April 2022 –– and will save $163 million over the course of the year. $163 million shaved off the top of grocery bills and kept in the pockets of the families who need it most!

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | Bus Fare Subsidy

Budget 2022-2023: Did you know that from 1 August your bus fare will be reduced by 10%? Government will pay the 10% for you!
“Just because fuel prices are rising doesn’t mean our people have any less reason to travel to work, school or to access essential services, so the travel must be as reliable and affordable as we can possibly make.” – Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum $50,000 or less.

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | $1 Per Day, Per Child

Did you know that in the 2022-2023 National Budget, the Fijian Government will provide $1 per day, or $7 a week, or around $30 dollars a month per child — a total of $180 per child for the next 6 months as direct cash assistance to Fijian families with an annual income of $50,000 or less.

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | Agricultural Support

In the 2022-2023 Budget, Fijian Government will outsource land clearing and farm mechanisation services to private contractors to boost farmer access to land cultivation machinery. The Ministry of Agriculture will receive $7.0 million in FY2022-2023 for this initiative.

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | Infrastructure

The FRA is allocated a sum of $376.7 million in FY2022-2023.
A sum of $204.3 million is allocated to the WAF in FY2022-2023.
In FY2022-2023, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be allocated a total of $22.4 million.
The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji will be allocated a total of $7.4 million in FY2022-2023.
The Ministry of Infrastructure and Meteorological Services’ total budget for FY2022-2023 is $37.2 million.
$19.3 million has been allocated under Head 50 for Grid Extension and Housewiring Projects, through which the Ministry of Economy will directly pay EFL for grid extension, and house wiring works under one contract.

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | Tertiary Students Support

Fijian Government has allocated a total of around $1.2 billion to the Tertiary Scholarships and Loans Service (TSLS) since its inception. A total of 9,200 scholarships and loans will be awarded in FY2022-2023, with a total allocation of $162.6 million in FY2022-2023 for scholarships and student loans.

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | FNPF Contribution Rates

Fijian Government will increase the FNPF employer and employee contributions from 6% to 7% from 1 January 2023 through 31 December 2023. For more than a year now, FNPF members’ accounts have received contributions at a lower rate. This 1% reversal for both employers and employees should credit around $40 million to members’ accounts. The Government will eventually revert the contribution rates to a total of 18% (10% for employers and 8% for employees) in the coming years.

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | BPO Incentives

The Government will allocate Outsource Fiji an increased grant of $600,000 in FY2022-2023. In addition, $1.0 million will be provided towards the BPO expansion programme.

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | Tertiary Education

The Government has allocated a total of around $1.2 billion to the Tertiary Scholarships and Loans Service (TSLS) since its inception. A total of 9,200 scholarships and loans will be awarded in FY2022-2023, with a total allocation of $162.6 million in FY2022-2023 for scholarships and student loans.

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | Bus Fare Subsidy

Effective from 1 August 2022, bus fares will be reduced by 10 percent across the board for the next 6 months. The Government will pick up the 10 percent cost so as not to place the burden on the bus companies. Bus users will pay discounted fares, while the Government will pay the difference directly to the bus companies through a $6.0 million allocation in the 2022-2023 Budget. The Government will make an advance payment to all bus companies for the month of August based on previous records and reconcile this with acquittals and e-ticketing data every month.

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | Social Assistance Recipients

All existing social welfare, Government pension and AfterCare Fund recipients will receive a payment of $180 over a six-month period. This will be paid out in two phases. It is expected that around 100,000 Fijians will benefit from this initiative.

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | Inflation Mitigation for Children

To help cope with rising prices, parents with a combined annual income of less than $50,000 will receive a payment of $180 per child (only for children below 18 years) over a 6-month period. This equates to $30 per month per child and will be paid out in two phases. For example, if an applicant has 5 children below the age of 18 years, the total payout for the 6-month period will be $900.
An online platform will be developed through which parents can apply. Alternatively, the Government may set up registration centres for Fijians to apply in person if the need arises.

FijiFirst | Fijian Government | 2022-2023 Fiji National Budget | Inflation Mitigation Measures

Fijian Government has allocated $60.0 million in the 2022-2023 Budget to help mitigate the effects of rising inflationary pressures on disposable household incomes.

Fijian Attorney-General explains the Zero-rated VAT on 21 essential items

“Inflation is getting back to that. You can see the United States got an 8.5% inflation rate. The Euro area, Australia and New Zealand have very high levels of the inflation rate, which have not seen for quite some time. Fiji’s inflation rate currently sits at about 5%; it could go up depending on what happens globally. You can see internationally the World Food Organization the monthly food price index. You can see how the price of fuel, food, cereals, meat price, etc. and dairy price are all going up significantly. Even the oil price. So, what did we do in the revised budget? Of course, we zero-rated VAT on all of these items. If we did not do this, all of you would be paying 9% more for all of these items. This is not only about food. It’s also about everyday items… Most of these items are imported…All of these items are zero-rated VAT by us, making zero-rated VAT. The Government lost about $165 million; we’d be making $165 million more if we did not if we left it at 9%.”

Fijian Attorney-General explains the Free GP Scheme for a Healthy Fiji

“We’ve obviously spent about $500 million, what we call income support. A lot of you here would have got 360. A lot of you here would have got the two rounds of $50, would have received $90. People who are selling vegetables at the market, they don’t pay market fees. We pay the market fees for them on their behalf to the Municipal Council. Now, with private doctors, you can go and see private doctors, and we pay for that also. You don’t have to pay for it…You go and talk to them. But in Ba and Tavua, Nadi, Lautoka, Sigatoka, Navua, Suva. Okay, so there’s one opening by September (in Ra) that we’ve actually approved. And in Suva, Nakasi, Nadera, Nausori, one in Savusavu, Labasa. With all those doctors, once they start over here, you go and see the doctor, you can do the blood test, you can do the sugar test, urine test, cholesterol test, full blood count test, kidney function, liver function, if you asthmatic and nebulizer, all of that will be paid for by Government. Even if you go to a private doctor, the injections, etc.”

Fijian Attorney-General response to the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on the Fijian economy

“…If these shocks are sustained over the short term, the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) expects global GDP growth to reduce by 1 percentage point and inflation to rise by a further 2.5 percentage points. The Ukraine-Russia war has delivered a severe and unfortunate blow to the global economy that will hinder growth and raise prices just as we are starting to bounce back from the pandemic-induced recession. Global trade disruptions and inflationary pressure are likely to intensify as the conflict drags on. Fiji has already begun to experience the spillover effects of these trade shocks, with important inflation pushing up domestic fuel and food prices in recent months. Fiji is particularly susceptible to fuel price shocks, given that fuel accounts for roughly one-third of our total import bill.”

Throughout the pandemic, agriculture was a reliable and resilient sector - Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama

“Throughout the pandemic, agriculture was a reliable and resilient sector that grows to record strength – supporting livelihoods and enhancing Fiji’s nutrition security. We crossed the $100 Million mark in agricultural export for the first time in 2020… The Government’s initiatives have impacted the performance of the agriculture sector over the years. Here are the facts, after breaking records in 2020, agriculture exports rose to a further $123 Million in 2021. Fiji has also witnessed significant growth in exports of kava, ginger and turmeric, among other spices, in the past two years, exported mostly to the United States of America. The top seven agricultural export categories in 2021 were ginger, assorted vegetables – cassava, chicken, meat and eggs. These are all positive results of what this side of the House has shown to the agricultural sector.”

Fijian Attorney-General explains the iTaukei Land Trust Act

“There’s one issue that people have talked to us about all the time, which is bill 17, but there’s no bill 17 anymore. It’s called Act 22 of 21.
As landowners, there are five things that they have to agree to before one can lease the land through TLTB.
• At least 60% of the members of the landowning unit must agree to lease,
• They must agree on what purposes the land will be leased for,
• They must agree to the term of the lease,
• They must agree to the premium they’re going to receive through TLTB,
• They must agree on how much annual rental the lessee would pay.
And remember, every five years, the rent gets reviewed, so once the landowners agree to those five things, then TLTB will issue the lease.

These conditions were before the law and remained unchanged after the law…”


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