Political instability and associated economic difficulties over the past twenty years have put the Fiji Government’s commitment to equitable development under increased pressure. The current development plan focuses on opportunties for economic growth, in the expectation that this is the precursor to social development. But government’s budget has grown faster than the national economy, its debt has grown rapidly, and civil service salaries take up a large part of government spending, despite a recent pay cut. There is little left over for capital costs, and social services are under growing strain to maintain their quality in the face of this declining investment. Progress in sectors such as health, education and social services, which has taken so much to achieve, is in jeopardy.