26 Aug 2006

FLP leader warns of greater hardship

6:10 am on 26 August 2006

The leader of the Fiji Labour party, Mahendra Chaudhry has warned that people should brace themselves for greater hardship as price hikes hit more consumer items in the next few months.

Mr Chaudhry's warning comes in the wake of a just announced 9.25% increase in the price of flour and sharps.

He says this will definitely deal a crippling blow to the pockets of the poor as flour and sharps are staple food items.

And, he expressed concern that the benefits of the removal of VAT from a number of essential food items had not been passed on to the consumer.

Mr Chaudhry says it shows the failure of the Fair Trading department and PIB to carry out continuous checks to ensure that the benefits of VAT removal are passed on to the consumers.

The Labour Leader has warned of a general increase in prices across the board in the near future as a result of the troubled economy and the devaluation of the Fiji dollar which would make imports more expensive.

He says Fiji must brace itself for more increases in the price of food and consumer items, as well the cost of utilities such as electricity.