1 Dec 2008

Fiji's military defends its 2007 overspend

10:48 am on 1 December 2008

Fiji's military has stressed there is nothing sinister about the army blowing its budget by millions of dollars in the year 2007.

A professor of economics at the University of the South Pacific, Dr Wadan Narsey, called it an evil budget laced with deceit.

He questioned how a government, which took power at gunpoint, has the right to grant huge increases for itself, including salary increases of 39 percent.

But Military spokesperson, Major Neumi Leweni, has hit out on the Fiji Live news site at the former Fiji Prime Minister , Laisenia Qarase and National Federation Party General, Pramod Rae, for criticising the budget

Major Leweni has also written to the Fiji Times, saying its interpretation of the military budget was way out of context and grossly misleading.

At the same time, Fiji's Public Service Association Assistant General Secretary, Nirbay Singh, told Fiji Live it was unfortunate the interim government implemented the pay cut to save government finances after the events of December 5th 2006 and yet the military was doing the opposite by busting its' budget.

He said the former Interim Finance Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry,

should clearly explain the matter.

The Fijian Teachers Association General Secretary Maika Namudu said these actions by the military are completely irresponsible adding this will not guarantee the military sticking to its already substantial budget for 2009.