21st November 02:26 AM
FijiFirst launch manifesto saying it will build upon the success of the last 4 years
By Semi Turaga
Saturday 10/11/2018
FijiFirst Leader Voreqe Bainimarama with the FijiFirst manifesto[Photo:Naziah Ali]

The FijiFirst Party launched its manifesto in Nukuloa College in Ba announcing the continuation of many of the government’s policies.

It says the 68-page document is a comprehensive, realistic and accountable vision for all Fijians that will build upon the success of the last four years.

The manifesto says a FijiFirst government will continue to reduce the cost of living with social wages which includes all initiatives from free schools fees for early childhood, primary and secondary students to the free medicine scheme, also including medicines for non communicable diseases.

It says it will continue to control the price of basic food items such as rice, flour, potatoes, dhal, cooking oil and pharmaceutical and medical products.

They will maintain VAT at 9%.

A FijiFirst government will also regularly review to increase wage rates for all workers without loss of jobs with the next review to be completed next year.

FijiFirst also says that for all TELS recipients there won’t be any interest rate payable, if they come from a family with an annual income of less than $100,000.

In its policy on continuing to create jobs, FijiFirst has announced it will set up the Wairabetia Economic Zone saying this will contribute to positioning Fiji as a regional hub for services and manufacturing, bolstering the economy and create jobs for not only the Western Division, but for the entire nation.

It has announced that it will build a new 40 megalitre treatment plant in Viria, Rewa to meet the demand in the greater Suva and Nausori area.

On the sugar sector, a FijiFirst government will give 10% of its shares in the Fiji Sugar Corporation to sugarcane farmers.

The government owns about 67% shares in FSC.

It says the number of shares each farmer gets will depend on the tonnage of cane they produce.

FijiFirst says it will also increase the intake of at least 200 primary and 50 secondary school teachers annually for the next 4 years and also create a specialised pool of relieving teachers who will exclusively assist in all relieving needs.

A FijiFirst government has also pledged to increase Fiji Police Force numbers from 4,100 to 7,300 within 5 years.

It has also pledged to embark on a major project to plant 4 million new trees over 4 years with the aim to reduce erosion and carbon output.

The party has also promised to bid for the 2023 Pacific Games and 2026 Commonwealth Games.

FijiFirst has also announced that it will expand the Young Entrepreneurship Scheme saying it will open up this initiative to those without any tertiary qualifications and will also increase the eligible age to 40 years and the grant amount to $30,000.

They also promise to establish the National Gallery of Contemporary Art by 2020.

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