So, Silver Surfers, they have done what we knew, right from the beginning they planned to do – hijack the FNPF. At first hearing it was great, wasn’t it? Wow! Initial pension allocation to be refunded regardless of prior payments over the years. Wow? More like DUH! 

Yet again (yawn) the perilous state of overseas pensions was hauled up as an example of why the FNPF is entitled to pull the plug on its senior pensioners. Do they think we are dumb? (Yes, they do actually – but we know they are dumber). Let’s get this straight and in clear bold print: The overseas pensions which are being cut are Government pensions. They are pensions which are funded from taxpayer’s money.  

The FNPF is owned by its members and the government has just stolen it from us. It has as good as put our contracts and agreements through the paper shredder and told us to ‘get stuffed’. The Government in annexing the FNPF is guilty of grand larceny. The FNPF is guilty of ‘larceny by servant’. Because, indeed, the FNPF is the servant of its members. 

At the same time the FNPF has (a) conned those on the lower pensions into thinking an extra $50 will see them right, mate. And (b) attempted to ‘wipe its hands’ of this issue by telling its older pensioners, ‘OK – Here’s your money back – we no longer have an agreement.’ 

Bull dust! Of course you have an agreement – a contract. And when you allocated an amount to be utilised as pension, it was long before the devaluation, to say nothing of weekly price hikes in the shops. The cost of living is rising weekly – we are all talking about it for heaven’s sake – it is the main topic of conversation these days. 

To add insult to injury Civil Servants are to receive a 20% pay increase. Well – perhaps this is fair enough, because it must be horribly boring sitting in a Govt department for hours on end doing nothing. Perhaps the increase is a hardship payment? 

Phoning the powers that be last year to arrange for the replacement of a TIN# letter, each time I got through on the phone I was treated to a woman quoting from the bible (yes, bible with a lower case b) which I was required to listen to before I was attended to. So much for separation of church and state. 

Phone any govt dept (yes, lower case g) for something specific and you can guarantee you will be passed on to at least 4 extensions before you get the person who can hopefully, but not necessarily, be of assistance. Worse comes to worst, you will be told that the only person who can deal with this issue is either ‘sick’ or ‘on leave’ and please call later. When? I don’t know. 

More worrying is the fact that if you visit/phone a govt department on, say, 3 different days, to discuss the same simple issue, you will be given 3 different answers! 

I am currently in touch with a businessman who is planning to invest in Fiji next year. I shall tell him to forget it until at least 2015 because we shall all need at least a year post elections to assess in which direction Fiji is moving. For some time to come it is doubtful that any agreement or contract will be honoured. Signed today – shredded tomorrow. 

So – Fiji Pensioners – we have just been given a kick in the teeth. Are we going to buckle under and belly-up? I don’t think so!

Rally to the cry, Grey-power!