Fijians this morning were flabbergasted when a the Australian Professor in Economics Dr Partha Gangopadhyay, said that Fijians who are lowly paid were “not affected by food prices.”
People took on the social media in dismay to explain their own hardships and how they were affected by the increase in food prices.
Dr Partha is an Australian Professor from University of Western Sydney Hospital, who has been hired by the Fijian Government to consult and review the national minimum wage rate.
Dr Partha says that he has looked at the actual consumption basket – how much they are spending on food, which food they are purchasing and consuming and etcetera.
“What I understand is that many food prices remain unchanged for them because they are buying foods that are price controlled,” he said in an interview with The Fiji Times.
He also said that Fijians should be free to consume anything they want but at this stage it is more important to cross the poverty line.
“Of course they should be free to consume whatever they want but then the question arises that at this stage, with this minimum wage rates and with these incomes, we would be very happy to cross the poverty line and then look at improving living standards.
The Australian Professor said that consultation with the Trade Unions have failed after repeated efforts of trying to get them back on the table.