FNPF consultants Shauna Tomkins and the guitar-playing Geoff Rashbrooke (The Windy City Strugglers) have been engaged in a propaganda blitz aimed at justifying the actions of the Fund in reducing pensions.
Those of us who attended the May symposium that began the FNPF’s “consultation” on pensions, remember Ms Tomkins as a patronising, voluble and aggressive, smarty pants. She talked down to the locals and didn’t seem to be interested in answering too many questions.
In a torrent of comment with Mr Rashbrooke in the Fiji Times recently, Ms Tomkins did nothing to repair the FNPF’s credibility.
In fact she succeeded in raising the question that will haunt the FNPF from now on: Where lies the truth?
Ms Tomkins and Mr Rashbrooke are obviously eager to please their client, the FNPF. So they won’t give an inch to the pensioner victims, most of whom are middle and working class. Let them whistle. If they can’t afford bread, let them eat cake.
In their propaganda deluge, Ms Tomkins and Mr Rashbrooke have aligned themselves with the FNPF’s preferred method of communication: confuse the pensioners and the public; lay on the inconsistencies and discrepancies, and contemptuously push to one side the anguish felt by many of those being oppressed and discriminated against. People don’t like change. Tough, they’ll just have to get used to it.
Greybeard invites you now to consider just one of the inconsistencies that marked the recent utterances of Ms Tomkins and Mr Rashbrooke.
We are all acutely aware that the FNPF, from the start of its “consultations”, stressed that it could continue till 2050 or 2055 as it was presently structured. Why then, we asked, was there such a mad rush to chop our pensions in advance? There has never been an answer to that.
But now Ms Tomkins and Mr Rashbrooke have reworked the math. They have thrown away without explanation the 40 or 45-year timeframe for the FNPF’s bankruptcy.
Their new claim is that the FNPF could be insolvent within seven years! In one fell swoop, 2050-2055 has become 2018!
So the FNPF, Ms Tomkins and Mr Rashbrooke got it wrong earlier. They were way out in their calculations. How very strange that the seven-year threat has only just surfaced. After all these months, it has appeared from nowhere.
Is it any wonder that those who have been picked out for special treatment no longer believe what the FNPF says?
Where does the truth lie?