29 Nov 2010

Fiji's Labour party criticises focus of increased funding for sugar industry

12:44 pm on 29 November 2010

Fiji's Labour Party has dismissed increased in funding in the budget for the sugar industry saying it is misdirected.

A statement from the party says the money is focused more on paying off the sugar corporation's debts and keeping the South Pacific Fertiliser Company afloat, than assisting the industry get back on its feet.

Of the $66m allocation in the Budget, US $59m is set aside to meet FSC's debt repayments and $5m will go to the South Pacific Fertiliser Company.

The Labour Party says there is no compensation offered to the cane farmers for the huge losses they suffered as a result of milling inefficiencies in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.

The statement says the government has taken a high-handed approach and that, along with the involvement of the security forces in the operations of the sugar corporation are likely to further erode the morale and confidence of the workers and farmers.