8 Jun 2019

Fiji Govt spend down in latest budget

5:34 pm on 8 June 2019

Fiji's government has signalled a FJ$800-million reduction in spend with the release of its 2019/2020 budget.

Fiji's Finance Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum Photo: Supplied

Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum presented the FJ$3.8-billion budget on Friday night detailing reductions in both operating expenses and capital investments.

Down from this year's FJ$4.6-billion spend, the new budget signals cuts for all but four government ministries.

Costs for running the government are estimated at FJ$2.5-billion compared with FJ$2.7-billion in the current cycle.

Civil servant remuneration will make up 41 percent of the total at an estimated FJ$1-billion in the coming year.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum explained to media that the reduction in capital expenditure from FJ$1.8-billion to FJ$1.2-billion was largely due to the completion of disaster related projects associated with cyclones Winston, Keni and Gita.

He said the focus was now on fiscal consolidation and debt reduction.

No new taxes are being introduced.

The country's net deficit for the coming year is estimated at 2.7 percent of GDP or FJ$349.2-million.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama told FBC News he commended the cutbacks in government expenditure and continued record revenue growth which is forecast to exceed FJ$3-billion.

"We want to cut out all the fat from all the budget that we've had previously and have a lean government going forward," said Mr Bainimarama.