27 Sep 2005

Fiji military defends service cutbacks to save money

8:13 pm on 27 September 2005

Fiji's military leaders are defending their financial planning in the face of an order to save millions of dollars by scaling back services.

Lieutenant Colonel Orisi Rabukawaga says there's no way the military could have foreseen the Government's directive to reduce its operations for the rest of the financial year.

He says the military was on track financially until it was unexpectedly told to absorb 19 million dollars of extra payments, almost a third of its total budget.

The extra expense includes payments for a massive job evaluation exercise, salary adjustments and the rising costs of providing goods and services

"The bulk of the money that were directed for us to pay out, we had not budgeted for, and the understanding was that we would pay from our current budget and that this would be reimbursed."