26 September 2023

FIJI: Accountants urge payroll cuts

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A Budget submission to the Fiji Government has called for a cut in the number of Public Servants by between 15 and 20 per cent.

The Fiji Institute of Accountants said the Government should follow the lead of the country’s private sector and reduce its payroll.

The Institute noted in its submission that Public Service salaries were the Government’s largest expenditure item, and savings from the cuts could be used to create further economic activity and employment opportunities.

“Emphasis needs to be placed on proper management and control of expenditure and improving efficiencies within Government, thereby maximising returns for each dollar spent and importantly getting it right the first time,” the Institute said.

It also suggested that Value Added Tax be increased to 12.5 per cent and Family Care Leave be abolished.

Meanwhile, deliberate acts of coughing and spitting have been identified as workplace violence and aggression in the Public Service’s new COVID-Safe Workplace Guideline.

Released by the Ministry of Civil Service, the Guideline gives advice to Permanent Secretaries on how to implement COVID-19 health and safety measures in Government workspaces, while ensuring the continuity of services.

“Workplace violence or aggression is where employees face abuse, assault or harassment as a result of the work that they do,” the Ministry said.

“Anxiety, stress and apprehension may increase the risk of workplace violence or aggression, especially in areas where employees are required to work with the public or external clients,” it said.

The Minsitry said acts of workplace violence and aggression “can include physical assault such as scratching, biting, kicking, pushing or grabbing”.

It said that harassment might include “unwanted physical or sexual contact, verbal threats and abuse, yelling and swearing in person and through email”.

Suva, 2 July 2021

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