HARD TIMES HAUNT FIJIANS IN WAKE OF COUP

Editorial

Fiji Times

SUVA, Fiji (Dec. 12) – The Fiji military should be prepared to face the wrath of families who have begun or are beginning to feel the effects of the national crisis it has created.

Maybe not today because they may be reluctant to voice their options but for sure the army will at some stage have to explain to those who have lost jobs or face pay cuts, why it caused them anguish, pain and suffering.

Like the suspension of the country's membership of the Commonwealth, the effects of these decisions may not be felt immediately but will surely come later.

While many employers are doing their best to hold off making harsh decisions on the payroll list as long as possible, they will have to review staff numbers sooner or later. That is the reality of the situation we face today.

Some employers are right now stretching resources so they do not spoil Christmas for these families by paying off staff or imposing pay cuts. And the situation can only get worse if this crisis drags on for much longer.

After Christmas, these families will start worrying about preparing for the new school year. There are books and pens to be purchased, uniforms to be ordered and school fees to be paid.The people also know they will have to meet the extra cost because of the 15 per cent VAT to be imposed from January.

All these are crossing peoples' minds now as the impact of the illegal takeover of the Government begins to gradually take its toll.

This is what's worrying many families as they try to put together something to celebrate Christmas.

The Fiji Council of Social Services rightly points out that the first to feel the impact are the poor and underprivileged that rely on assistance to survive on a daily basis. If the assistance is withdrawn, they are doomed.

Thankfully, the Reserve Bank of Fiji has ruled out any devaluation of the Fiji dollar for now but again, it all depends on how long the military regime allows itself to run the nation's affairs. Any devaluation will be the final nail on the coffins of those many families already struggling for survival.

Christmas is only days away and the families already facing hardship have nothing much to look forward to. What is usually a time of joy and festivities will this year be bleak for them.

In fact, they foresee many more dark days ahead if the political climate persists.

They know the effects of the military takeover will affect their lives for some time to come.

The military will have to answer them one day.

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