6 May 2021

Fiji NGOs says now not the time to spend big on PM's offices

6:54 am on 6 May 2021

Fiji's Alliance for the Covid-19 Humanitarian Response says the government's plan to spend $7million dollars on a new office block for the prime minister is despicable.

The Alliance, which is made up of key civil society groups, said now is not the time for such spending when the country is facing a national crisis, due to the pandemic.

Spokesperson Shamima Ali said all the NGOs hear constantly from people needing food or PPE or those already poverty stricken and struggling.

Shamima Ali of the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre.

Shamima Ali of the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre. Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox

She said the announcement of the new building complex at such a time is callous.

"It makes you really very angry, that, how can a leader, how can leadership be so callous and so uncaring about the people. And they can announce this luxury, which is totally unneeded. Is this the time to do such things, you know? So it really is so disheartening and enraging, " Ali said

She said the present offices could easily be refurbished.

The Alliance is renewing its call for a non-partisan, all-of-parliament team to be set up to tackle all the issues arising from Covid-19 and this is what the government needs to focus on.

Ali said all available government money needed to go towards dealing with the pandemic, rescuing the country's hospitals and improving food security.