The cost of living would not be an issue in Samoa if income levels were good.
This is the belief of a father of five, Teleko Patolomeo, 45, from Vaitele-Fou. Mr. Patolomeo was waiting for his ride to work yesterday afternoon when Village Voice met up with him.
Mr. Patolomeo said the problem in Samoa is that the cost of living is high while income levels are far too low.
“The cost of living in Samoa is really high and the people of Samoa continue to struggle because everything is expensive,” he said.
“Another reason why people in Samoa will continue to struggle is because the cost of living continues to rise but the salaries never increase.
“I thought the Chinese businesses coming to Samoa would be helpful but there is not much difference, they are all expensive and that is the truth.”
Mr. Patolomeo said his wife and other three children are in Savai’i while he is living with his sister here in Upolu with his other two children.
He said life in Upolu is different from Savai’i.
“The people living in the coastal area are the lucky ones,” he said.
“They have land with them to live on as well as land to work on like plantations and stuff.
“Those are the ones that are blessed because they have everything they need in order to survive.”
Mr. Patolomeo added that salaries in Samoa are far too low.
“Life in Samoa is not easy anymore because the salaries are just too low and we can’t keep up with the expenses we have.
“We have to pay our bills, food for the kids, the kid’s school as well as supporting churches and supporting family obligations.”
He added that if the cost of living was equivalent to the salaries people earn, no one would complain at all.
“It’s just unfair, really unfair.”