‘Too little, too late’ – Gavoka labels $100 unemployment assistance a ‘political freebie’

Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader Viliame Gavoka during an interview at his office in Suva on Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

Social Democratic Liberal Party leader Viliame Gavoka labelled Government’s $100 unemployment assistance to the people of Vanua Levu a “political freebie”.

In a statement issued yesterday, he said the “$100 is too little, too late”. Mr Gavoka claimed the FijiFirst party government was “desperate to maintain power at all costs”.

“It is only logical to ask, why was this assistance not given during the COVID-19 pandemic when people needed it the most, rather than accessing people’s hard earned FNPF savings,” he said.

“It is desperate and demeaning and comes at the expense of a more debt-ridden future generation.

“This Government expects our people to surrender their senses and return them to power for only $100. What an insult.

“The price hikes for food, and fuel are external shocks that Government must absorb by subsidising the increases so that our people do not feel the effects to their already diminished family budgets.

“Government must introduce anti-inflation counter measures which it is not doing.

“The $13 million that Government has allocated for this unemployment assistance could have been better utilised if it had funded an agricultural production project meant for export.

“That would be a more genuine and innovative way of supporting the development aspirations of our people rather than a consumable budget allocation of $100 per applicant that we have seen mostly wasted on alcohol in the recent past.”

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