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Letter: Keeping a check on the dollars and sense

Wednesday 21 February 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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Letter: Keeping a check on the dollars and sense

The Prime Minister in Parliament yesterday (February 19) continued to dodge the issue of cost of living that is too high for us Cook Islanders.

He said it's imported inflation, importing fuel and foodstuffs, and might I add just about everything. How do we tackle this? Go plant, even if more than half of people have no land on Rarotonga. He went on, you people are too lazy, go subsistence.

That's his solution.

But he has a solution for Cook Islanders living overseas who come visiting their home islands in groups. His Government would legalise funding for their fares and the charter of ships to ferry them to the outer islands. In other words, he would make it a Government policy to hand out money to such groups, not sure of limits, surely that would vary, like the $675,000 provided for Pukapuka people from overseas to travel to Pukapuka. He quotes numbers, amounts of money in return but fell short of viability. He sees this policy as an economic golden egg.

This is crazy, a good example of vote pandering and populist politics. It's not sound economics at all. I'm sure such monies could go towards some pay rises in the public service. Or help out essential private services to the public like Cooks Bus Service. He boasts about a buoyant economy, multiple effects of our Vat tax and a stable golden goose in tourism. But his noticeable tendency is to throw money, plenty of it, at things that give him political credit. I wish for all Cook Islanders to see through the facade and realise that foundations of a solid economic base established previous to him by mature thinking people, who used our money diligently, is being abused by the PM' s whims.