24 May 2010

Fiji pensions restored because common understanding emerging - official

5:17 pm on 24 May 2010

The interim government in Fiji says the reinstatement of pensions to former politicians is a sign to its people to come together.

The government has revoked a decree it introduced last December, which gave it the power to stop the government pensions of those who criticised the interim regime, or incited hatred.

Pio Tikoduadua, the permanent secretary in the Prime Minister's office says the pensions of more than 20 former ministers, MPs and members of the senate, were cut under the decree.

He says while some people had previously not liked what was happening in Fiji, the pensions are being restored from today because a common understanding is now coming through.

"We had a position to make. People who were pensioners were people the government was catering for. You couldn't be shooting the hand that's looking after you, you know, giving you your pension. So we just want everyone to understand where the government is taking Fiji."

Pio Tikoduadua says the government is now working with people who were former critics.