8 Jan 2008

Fiji's Consumer Council criticises increase in bus and taxi fares

11:45 am on 8 January 2008

Fiji's consumer council is critical of the interim government's decision to raise the transportation fares in the country.

The interim transport minister said it approved a ten percent increase in bus and a 33 percent increase in taxi fares due to higher fuel costs.

The Consumer Council's Chief Executive, Premila Kumar, says it's unfair that the costs will be passed down to the customers.

"It's rather unfortunate that the consumers have to bear the cost of fuel increases in the form of services going up. Consumers [now] have to fork out an extra five cents for every bus stage and the taxi fare increase is rather exorbitant. It will be very difficult for the consumers to meet the increase in the cost of transportation."

Premila Kumar says people on lower incomes will be hardest hit because they use the public transportation system most frequently.