Working poverty

Kositatino Tikomaibolatagane, Naitonitoni, Navua | Wednesday, May 31, 2017
The Fiji Times 29/05 in its front page printed an article titled Drop in working poverty, wherein the minister Mr Usamate highlighted that social wages like free bus fare, free medicine, subsidising of electricity and water have helped reduce working poverty from 34.8 per cent to 11 per cent.

Professor Gangopadhyay further added that a recent survey he conducted found that "social wages provided by the Fijian Government had improved the quality of life of the working people".

Accessing my own situation and that of my family, I wonder whether what are they saying makes any sense.

I am a working person and as well as my wife, and both our net wages put together comes to about $1000 fortnightly, however, we still struggle to make ends meet especially with the high cost of living we have today.

With the high cost of basic food items and other goods, even free bus fares, medicines, subsidising of electricity and water, does not really help in trying to make ends meet.

Furthermore, when Professor Gangopadhyay said the quality of life of the working people had improved because of the social wages provided by Government, then what about the lives of the people who do not work?

My general comment is, we the working people are feeling the brunt of the rise in the cost of living at present and I wonder how much more burden that would be to the people who are not working.

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