2019/2020 National Budget: Mother tells of struggle

Sereima Umeni with her son Inia Liwa at Jittu Estate settlement in Suva yesterday. Picture: RAMA

WITH the announcement of the 2019/2020 National Budget tomorrow night, a mother of one yesterday described how she has had to struggle to cater for her family’s needs using her husband’s $90 weekly salary.

Sereima Umeni’s daily expenses usually comprised her 18-month-old baby’s products like baby formula milk, diapers and others.

She said the cost of goods did not correlate with the cost of living today and she hoped the coming budget would help address these plights faced by families like theirs.

The 27-year-old says she spends about $60 to purchase her son’s formula milk, diapers and wipes and is left to survive on the remaining $30 for the rest of the week.

“Sometimes, I am forced to give my son plain hot water because there is no more milk,” she said.

Ms Umeni and her family live with her sister-in-law at Jittu Estate in Suva.

There are about six people in their household.

Ms Umeni said the family shared all their meals together and this was also a challenge as she claimed the prices of basic food items were also expensive.

“For people like us, our plea to Government would be for them to think about us and at least decrease the cost of basic food items and also items for infants.

“We live in a place where we purchase almost everything that we consume from supermarkets and I believe this area must be looked into very carefully and that is the livelihood of ordinary people.

“I believe I am not the only person facing this issue.”

Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum will announce the 2019-2020 National Budget at 7.30pm tomorrow.

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