‘Governments try and do the best they can’

Dr Kishti Sen, International Economist ANZ says government will try and do the best it can. Picture SUPPLIED

“THERE’S always a lot said before a budget, but the fact remains that governments don’t have a magic wand. With limited resources and competing priorities, governments try and do the best they can.”

This was a sentiment expressed by Dr Kishti Sen, International Economist, ANZ.

Dr Sen said, through ANZ Research, that there was reason to believe the government will “be bold and do some of the heavy lifting needed to tackle the underlying structural deficit problems in Fiji’s budget.”

“We also think it will be a responsible budget,” he said, “promoting private investment, reducing deficit over time and setting Fiji up to become a mixed economy in the future; one that is not heavily reliant on its leisure economy.”

ANZ Research predicts that the key priorities addressed in the upcoming national budget will include seeking out an orderly path to fiscal consolidation, perhaps a budget repair plan that tackles the structural budget deficit problems such as the government wages and salaries bill.

There could also be a forthcoming and much needed focus on attracting private sector investment by giving investors certainty through policy and legislation, and not being overly aggressive on new revenue measures.

Increased funding for core services such as healthcare and education are also among the predictions by Dr Sen.

ANZ Research is supportive of some household assistance packages being offered to offset the recent steep rises in consumer prices, particularly food items.

“The clever and sporty country has an interesting time ahead. The budget hopefully lays the foundation for what will be a very diversified and prosperous economy in three to five years’ time.”

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