Poverty comes in different forms

Dear Editor,

I find it very interesting that the government officials are saying that there is no poverty in Samoa. Although it mentioned that there is more hardship than poverty, I would say that there is poverty is Samoa. 

I have just returned from a trip to visit my family in Samoa and realised how hard some of those families live there. 

I’m also fascinated by the comment that “people need to budget their money wisely” by paying their bills first. I would like to say to budget, one needs to have money to budget with. 

From what I know and have seen as a Samoan person with families in Samoa the majority of families live on zero income. 

Most of the money they do get will be from families living overseas. This shouldn’t be classed as income. The wage, if one is lucky enough to have a job, the starting rate is around 2-3 tala an hour. That amounts to only around 120.00 tala a week. 

And as most Samoans live with extended families, that amount soon dwindles into nothing. So my question is how can you expect a person to budget on nothing and if lucky enough to have a job how to budget on an average wage of 120.00 tala a week? 

Poverty comes in different forms and just because a family can manage to erect a fale to have a roof over their heads does not mean they don’t live in poverty.



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