A-G: We can’t tell people how to spend the $360

A policeman monitors the crowd of people waiting to access the M-PAiSA services at Damodar City in Suva last month. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

If people bought a few bottles of beer with the $360 allowance, then it is OK, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said in Parliament on Tuesday.

He said “we cannot go and tell them how to spend the money”.

“If I for example received the $360 and spent part of that money to buy groceries, I spent part of that money paying some rent, I spent part of the money buying a pair of shoes for my child and if I go and buy six bottles of long neck or six bottles of beer, what is wrong with that?,” he said.

“I have not spent my entire money on alcohol, so people have come along and said, “Oh, you know that guy was buying alcohol”.

“OK, what percentage of $360 did he buy alcohol with?

“Alcohol is quite cheap at the moment, so people may buy six bottles of beer or they might buy gin and tonic, those cans or whatever it is.

“We do not think that there is anything specifically wrong with it, of course, we would like them to spend their entire sum of money on non-alcoholic things, non-cigarette things, but if people have given it priority to buy one or few bottles, then that is OK.

“As long as they put the bulk of the money to good use and that is what it is all about.”

More Stories