2022-2023 National Budget: A Budget for Everyone
July 19, 2022
The 2022-2023 National Budget reflects unprecedented and concerted fiscal expansion which will not only promote economic security but will provide the much-needed income support and relief to households affected by the cost-of-living pressures. While commending the national budget, Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF) Chief Executive Officer Ms Seema Shandil said the astute allocation of coffers will ingeniously increase consumers purchasing power.
“Consumers are already feeling the brunt of global inflationary pressures which are forcing them to cut back spending, even on some essentials. The Council is elated with the fact that the budget announced largely focuses on policies to address the growing cost of living, rebuilding national resilience and catalyzing reforms, to drive socio-economic recovery activities and the national development agenda”, said Ms Shandil.
Incentives and policies such as $180 payout to pensioners over the next 6 months, 10% bus fare subsidy across the board and around $30 a month per child for a 6-month period will provide the much-needed buffer and relief to consumers – effectively ensuring consumers have more disposable income on hand.
“Once implemented, the budget will promote spending and consumption by both consumers and businesses. This means more cash will eventually trickle down in the pockets of households as wages and profits. As households spend the extra income, it would then create income for others having a large impact on the economy”, said Ms Shandil.
The continuation of policies announced in the revised budget earlier this year which ensures that essential items remain under price-control and VAT exempted is also welcomed. Policies and incentives geared towards revising MSMEs and other businesses will also have a multiplier effect and benefit consumers however, the Council is calling on businesses to be ethical and pass on the benefit to consumers.
“The intention of businesses positive policies and incentives is not only for businesses to benefit but to pass on the same to ordinary Fijian consumers and the government,” added Shandil.
Meanwhile, the Council continues to encourage consumers to maintain basic budgeting principles and prudence. There is incentive to spend, but there is equally a greater incentive to save.
Overall, the Council sees the 2022-2023 national budget as one that will definitely provide the much-needed relief to all Fijians. For queries, consumers can contact the Council on toll-free number 155. Alternatively, consumers can lodge complaints using the Consumer Council of Fiji mobile app.