8 Nov 2005

Beggars are well off, says Fiji minister

9:37 am on 8 November 2005

Fiji's minister for poverty alleviation says beggars should be taken off the streets because she says they are well off.

The Fiji Sun quotes Adi Asenaca Caucau as saying the beggars are professionals who already have homes, food and shelter.

She says some of the beggars even have their homes rented out.

Adi Asenaca says all the beggars except those with mental disabilities are receiving family assistance allowances, formerly known as destitute allowances, of US$54 to US$60 a month.

She says this is more than those who are living below the poverty line which according to the UN definition is US$1 a day.

Adi Asenaca says they make US$9 or more a day by begging.

She says the beggars are sending the wrong signals to the young who are growing up, and police should take them off the streets.