2023-2024 National Budget | Fijians feel the pinch at checkout

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Mohammed Magbul stresses a point at Sasawira settlement, Nausori yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Ordinary Fijians are feeling the pinch at the checkout and they are pinning their hopes on the 2023-2024 National Budget to bring them some relief.

Many said the sky rocketing prices of basic goods was affecting their pockets and their ability to provide healthy food for their families.

Retired machinery worker Mohammed Magbul said the price of food items was too high and claimed the Coalition Government was not fulfilling its preelection promises.

“Government, during their campaign had promised people that prices of food items were going to decrease,” he said.

“They were also going to look into increasing the hourly rate of workers.”

He said instead, as the days went by everything just kept getting more and more expensive.

“The prices of basic food items are so high, we sometimes have to go without buying a particular item.

“I don’t know why the price of oil, mutton, flour and rice is increasing and the quality of rice is not good.”

Mr Magbul said his son was working for a road construction firm but was among 200 workers who were made redundant in February.

“So we sometimes struggle with buying groceries for our family.

“I request the Government to at least put a reasonable price on basic food items and also assist workers that have been made redundant like my son.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Professor Biman Prasad in an interview with The Fiji Times in January said reducing the cost of basic food items was one area the Coalition Government was focused on.

He said they would ensure the vulnerable, low-income earners and those living on the margins were able to put food on the table.

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