19 May 2010

Amid economic decline, ousted Fiji opposition leader says dialogue urgent

1:46 pm on 19 May 2010

Fiji's ousted opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, says unless there is some form of political dialogue very soon, Fiji's economy will continue to decline.

Recent figures from the household and income and expenditure survey showed 45 percent of the population, or 360-thousand people, in Fiji are living in poverty.

Mr Beddoes says people are struggling with higher prices, unemployment and reduced wages or hours.

"The powers that be I don't think have come to the realisation yet, and I hope they do soon, that unless we have a full political solution soon, we are not going to have a sound economic recovery. That's the reality."

Mick Beddoes says investment is down, which will only pick up when the political system is sound, and the rule of law is respected.