Starving out the opposition is now an option.
On Tuesday Commodore Frank Bainimarama gleefully announcing on Fiji Broadcasting Corporation that any pensioners that oppose the regime will now have their pensions cancelled.
The Fiji National Provident Fund holds individual accounts for its members that it accrues interest on and every employee in Fiji is required to be a member of FNPF.
Every member has 8% of their income deducted by the employer and paid into their account. The employer also contributes 8%. The FNPF invests the money and adds a premium to the account. The important point is that this is not government money it is private citizen’s money. The average Fijian has no significant savings other than FNPF.
Upon retirement there are several options available including withdrawing all the money or having a lifetime pension paid.
The FNPF is required to be independent of the Government but has had the board stacked with military offers and sycophants since the 2006 coup.
This action by the Fiji Government is the equivalent of seizing bank accounts or nationalizing a bank. It will ensure there is a run on FNPF money as no one, on retirement, will leave their lifetime savings in an account that the government is prepared to play politics with. It will ensure that another level of poverty has been added to the already 50% of the population below the breadline.
For the first time in Fiji’s history food has been used as a weapon.
CCF says Fiji pension cuts to critics amounts to abuse of power
Posted at 19:28 on 13 January, 2010 UTC
The head of Fiji’s Citizens Constitutional Forum, the CCF, says by stopping pension payments to its critics, the interim regime is abusing its powers.
The interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has told Radio Fiji that the decree was passed last week and the pension cuts are effective from this week for people who have spoken out against the interim regime.
He didn’t say how many retirees have lost their pension and the National Provident Fund, which is a key pension provider, has been unavailable for comment.
However, the CCF’s head, the Reverend Akuila Yabaki, says the regime has gone too far.
“We call on the interim government to respect human rights and refrain from implementing discriminatory laws, such as this decree. A pension is the rightful entitlement of public servants who earned this through their long service career.”
The Reverend Akuila Yabaki
The interim regime seized power in a military coup, abolished the constitution and rules by decree that cannot be challenged.
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