The Consumer Council of Fiji views the 2019/2020 National Budget to be futuristic, practical and economically sustainable, it not only provides stable present but also secures stable future for all Fijians.
These are the words of Consumer Council of Fiji CEO, Seema Shandil who says as announced in the budget, the various reforms and policy changes are heavily focused towards changing the quality of the ordinary Fijians livelihood.
Shandil says the good news is that the government has maintained Value Added Tax and the Income Tax threshold ensuring that consumers purchasing power remains the same.
She says furthermore ordinary consumers will continue to enjoy the benefits of free government schemes, while the introduction of subsidised bus fares for parents and guardians who travel with their disabled children to school, will further assist the needy.
She says the reduction of fiscal duty on batteries for laptops, tablets, cellular mobile phones and power banks from 32% to 5% and also on new ready‑made clothing for children from 32% to 5% will make these products more affordable for consumers.
She says the government’s decision to draft new laws to improve standards of service by inter‑island shipping companies will ensure that they are held accountable for any unscrupulous practice.
She says it is worth noting the Government’s intention to expeditiously increase the supply of affordable housing in Fiji.
Shandil says the initiative by the Ministry of Housing and Community Development to work closely with the Reserve Bank of Fiji and other financial institutions to give homeowners the opportunity to finance the purchase or construction of new homes at discounted interest rates is also welcomed.