24 Jul 2008

Ousted Fiji opposition welcomes regime's tax climb-down

6:50 pm on 24 July 2008

The ousted Fiji opposition leader, Mick Beddoes, welcomes the interim government's decision to drop a tax for water bottling companies.

The interim government imposed a tax requiring the bottlers to pay 20 cents for every litre of water they sell as a compensation for the use of the water.

The bottlers filed a lawsuit against the tax on Wednesday but then reached an agreement with the interim attorney general to drop the tax but to discuss the introduction of a levy.

The interim finance minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, who was for the tax, was not present at the meeting.

Mick Beddoes says he's happy the matter has been resolved.

"This is a repeat of other major upheavals being created by the interim administration, in particular the minister for finance, whose very aggressive approach towards most of his dealings causes a major upheaval. While I welcome the intervention by the attorney general and his ability to resolve the issue, the fact is it shouldn't have happened in the first place."

Mick Beddoes