22 Jul 2014

Fiji's Sodelpa promises poverty relief in manifesto

8:44 am on 22 July 2014

Fiji's Sodelpa party has promised to bring down poverty, cut back on debt and spur job growth if it gets into power.

Its newly released manifesto also pledges to see through a law on ownership of the coast known as qoliqoli which was stopped in its tracks by Frank Bainimarama's 2006 coup.

Ro Teimumu Kepa, Fiji's SODELPA leader

Ro Teimumu Kepa, Fiji's SODELPA leader Photo: RNZ / Republika

The party's manifesto is entitled Reclaiming Fiji and it promises to restore the Great Council of Chiefs and all indigenous rights that have been removed or weakened under Rear Admiral Bainimarama.

A Sodelpa government would ensure the transfer of the qoliqoli to its traditional owners, repeal the Bainimarama government's Land Use decrees and abolish the Land Bank.

The party also wants Christianity declared the state religion and the 2013 constitution repealed or amended.

To relieve poverty it plans an immediate food subsidy of 27 million US dollars.

It wants at least 30% women and 25% young people in government and a 200% tax rebate to employers taking on first-time job seekers.

To boost the economy it's pledged the removal of capital gains tax, cutting red tape and a minimum of 50 years for agricultural leases of native land.