Fiata Ioane, from the village of Vailu’utai, says that prices of everyday goods constantly increasing and the pay people get remaining small, many will be left struggling.
He explains that with this type of imbalance with pay and prices, people have no other choice but to enter the endless cycle of buying on credit.
Fiata has had enough of this and says that it’s time for the government to step in to help.
“The cost of living is getting too high for many of the villagers here in Samoa,” he told the Village Voice.
“I have noticed prices for some everyday goods being raised to the point where it’s hard to get. It’s hard because people in Samoa don’t get paid well enough to afford many things.”
“And if the prices continue to increase then it’s hard to say what will come from it.”
Purchasing things on credit is nothing new in Samoa, but the situation is only going to get worse with goods becoming more and more unaffordable.
“The thing with people in the villages is that a lot of the people have no other choice but to purchase on credit,” Fiata said.
“There are two reason behind it; one, things from the shops are getting too expensive and two, people aren’t generating enough money because the wage system is bad.
“That’s a problem because once we get money then a piece of that will go straight into paying off our I.O.U. and then when you want to buy something then you don’t have enough money left over.”
“That will lead to people buying on credit again and it’s an endless cycle.”
Fiata continued on to explain that even holding on to $100 seems like you’re holding something with much less value.
“When it comes to buying things the family needs, people come up with all sorts of ways to make it happen,” he said.
“Then throwing the high cost of living into the mix, it’s only going to get worse. For my family personally, once we get $100 for the family then it’s gone very quickly on sugar, food for the family and other small things.”
“Then right after that, we are back to square one where we have to try finding ways to make some more money for other needs within the family.”
But nevertheless, Fiata says that families have to get used to this unaffordable situation.
“But life in general, we are happy,” he said.
“When it comes to money then we suffer but as a family, all we need to do is be happy. I’m not ashamed to say that even with a few people in my family holding steady jobs, we still don’t have enough. “The government should measure the prices they put on goods against the people of Samoa who are struggling. They should look and see how much we need help.”
“Decreasing prices on everyday goods will help so many people here in Samoa.”