Fiji PM’s $175k travel allocation unnecessary, says MP Tabuya

Opposition Whip Lynda Tabuya making a point during the virtual Parliament. Picture: PARLIAMENT OF FIJI

The $175,000 set aside in the 2021-2022 National Budget for the Prime Minister’s overseas travel is unnecessary because international travel is not permitted during this COVID-19 pandemic, SODELPA’s Lynda Tabuya told Parliament yesterday.

She highlighted this issue when the Parliamentary Committee of Supply was debating programs under the proposed budget.

“This is unnecessary because there is no need for the prime minister to travel right now,” she said.

“This allocation can be used for other important things during this pandemic.”

SODELPA Leader Viliame Gavoka said he did not support the allocation.

“Times like this, overseas travelling allocation should be decreased or not included at all, just remove it totally,” he said.

In response, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said since the COVID-19 vaccine was in the country, the funds will be available should the need arise for the prime minister to travel overseas.

“We do not want to be scrounging around for funds,” he said.

The Office of the Prime Minister has a budget allocation of $14.1 million in the next financial year.

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