1 Dec 2011

Fiji regime told lack of transparency means Budget meaningless

3:08 pm on 1 December 2011

Fiji's Labour Party says the interim government needs to have more transparency over its budget process.

The regime released its 2012 budget last week, predicting growth of over 2 per cent, while reducing taxes for individuals and the corporate tax.

The party's leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, a former finance minister, says there's little point to the government releasing the budget when no one knows where the money goes, or where it is coming from.

"Because the national accounts are not published at all since 2008. And the auditor general's reports are not published either. There's absolutely no accountability or transparency in terms of government expenditure, because people don't know whether the amount that was voted in the budget have in fact been spent as per the budget, or have they been diverted somewhere else."

Mahendra Chaudhry says most people earn below the threshold for the tax cut, so it will do little to address poverty.