November 5, 2014
According to the 2010 Auditor General’s Report the Government had borrowed $2,759,292,150 from lenders inside Fiji. This is an astounding level of debt and raises the question who would lend an amount like this. We don’t have to stand around scratching our heads too long to work this out. It was the FNPF, in other words you and me. This money is mostly short term, going in and out of the FNPF accounts to keep the government operating. Some 58% of Government revenues in 2010 were spent on repaying short term loans to FNPF and other lenders, leaving only 42% of revenues available for providing government services. This was a 20% fall in the amount of revenues available for services. On top of this huge mountain of debt there were contingent liabilities of $1.8 billion. These are debts that will have to be paid by the Government if the borrower, such as Fiji Sugar Corporation or Fiji Airways can’t pay their debts. This is owed to Banks, including the Export Bank of India. If these fall due we will really be up the creek. If 58 cents in every dollar raised from taxes in 2010 was being spent on keeping the creditors at bay, just think what it would be if Fiji Airways or FSC debts have to be repaid.