2 Responses

  1. Tess Newton Cain
    Tess Newton Cain July 26, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks Matt, can you provide some info about concerns about rising levels of inequality in Fiji and, in particular, the extent to which increasing urbanisation is contributing to levels of poverty. I know that there is a particular concern about the minimum wage levels and we have yet to see how that will play out. Also, in Figure 1 can you explain what the difference between ‘public’ and ‘government’ investment.

    1. Matthew Dornan
      Matthew Dornan August 1, 2016 at 11:18 am

      Hi Tess,

      Thanks for the good questions (and sorry about the delayed reply – for some reason the system did not notify me a comment had been left).

      Nationally, income inequality decreased between the 2008-09 and 2013-14 household income and expenditure surveys, after having increased between 2002-03 and 2008-09. There is a lot going on underneath those headline figures, however. Poverty has declined in rural areas, but increased in urban areas (hence the focus on squatter settlements etc). Note that this is likely to have contributed to lower inequality nationally, given that rural areas are generally poorer than urban areas. Regionally, poverty rates have declined in the West, but have increased in the Nausori-Suva corridor. So it is a mixed story overall. You can read more here [pdf].

      On the investment question – these are Reserve Bank of Fiji figures, which are not accompanied by an RBF definition. That said, the distinction would be generally understood as follows: ‘government’ includes any investment by government departments, whereas ‘public’ includes investment by state-owned enterprises.

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