Opposition leader Mathew Wale says headline inflation for 2020 is projected at 2.2%, a slight increase on 2019.
Wale said the upward pressure is caused mostly by imported inflation from higher fuel prices, and some contribution from diminishing supply of local foods driving prices up.
“It ought to be noted that the inflation data and calculation is only for Honiara. There is no data for outside Honiara,” he said in parliament, Friday.
With that, he said it is almost as if the rest of Solomon Islands does not exist or does not matter and therefore can be ignored.
“This is a significant inadequacy in the inflation data. How long more will this neglect continue?” he questioned.
Wale said because of the deficiencies in the inflation data and the unequal distribution of GDP growth, cost of living data isn’t clear.
He said government has recently taken two important steps on incomes, raising the minimum wage and increasing the tax-free threshold on salaries.
“These will have a positive impact on households and families budgets.
“But government must not now step back and think this is all that is to be done on this matter,” he said.
He said it will be important for government to keep monitoring household spending, saving and behaviour to inform policy.
“Cost of living in Solomon Islands is generally very high and government must do all it can to address both sides of this issue, incomes and the costs,” he added.
By IAN M.KAUKUI