Prices for goods have risen while many people still live on minimum wage; that is the view of Elenoa Ioelu from the village of Tufulele-Uta.
“The cost of living does not go well with the pay we are getting,” Elenoa tells the Village Voice.
“My husband currently works at Taumeasina and he has worked there for six months.
“He gets paid $350 every fortnight and that is what we stretch to make ends meet. We have church obligations, village commitments, family necessities and so many other things we use the money for.”
How fast does the money go after your husband receives his pay?
“To be honest, when my husband gets his pay then it goes very fast with everything we have to do,” says Elenoa.
“An example would be last Friday when my husband got his pay, we put aside some money for the family, and then we put some money aside for our obligations.”
Are there any extra costs your family deals with?
“When it comes to the children’s schooling then that’s when it becomes a little difficult,” says Elenoa.
“Sometimes my children will eat on credit and then when my husband gets his pay then $100 plus goes straight to paying off the I.O.U’s at the shop.”
Do you think there is poverty in Samoa?
“There is some poverty in Samoa but the lord has blessed our country with food. But the pay is just not enough to pay for our daily necessities,” says Elenoa.
“The government has made food items cost so much while the pay remains the same. When I try managing the $350 we get every two weeks and a sack of rice is $50 then it just doesn’t add up.
“About $60 goes to the children’s lunch every week when they go to school and that is separate to the money the whole family uses for food.
“The money comes in on Friday and breaks on Friday.”
Is there any other hardship your family is currently dealing with?
“Sometimes we don’t even have enough money to pay for the water,” says Elenoa.
“Water is important in everyday life. It’s tough without water but sacrifices need to be made.
“Life isn’t easy with these sorts of hardships.”