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What Are Your Policies, SODELPA?

What Are Your Policies, SODELPA?
July 24
12:25 2018

ANALYSIS:   Where their policies are concerned, SODELPA has been doing a side step better than some of our Sevens team.

SODELPA Members of Parliament have spoken eloquently and sometimes not so eloquently about some of their policies. The usual ones are obvious – bring back the Great Council of Chiefs, removing laws governing the regulation of surfing areas, decrease the departure tax which more tourists and fewer locals pay.

But what about things that matter?

SODELPA has said they will make tertiary education free. This has been publicly said by their leader Sitiveni Rabuka.

However, recent flyers from the SODELPA camp and other MPs are saying they will remove the Tertiary Education Loan Scheme (TELS) and reintroduce scholarships.

What? How does this make sense? It doesn’t.

To do away with TELS and Toppers Scheme, to provide free tertiary education but to also introduce race-based scholarships whereby your race and not merit decides that you receive a full scholarship? Something does not add up.

It does not help that SODELPA launched parts of its manifesto in Sydney, Australia, instead of Fiji. Many Fijians are left confused about what SODELPA is really wanting to do.

The second thing which is confusing a number of people is that there are talks to further increase the retirement age for civil servants to 65.

On one hand (if SODELPA makes tertiary education free) they will have more graduates coming out of universities but on the other hand they are looking at increasing the retirement age to 65. What will it do to the unemployment rate? Will a new graduate need to wait 10 years before they can get jobs within the civil service?

What is SODELPA’s plan to counter that? Foreign investment is what comes to their minds. That is not enough. That is not the answer.

These are only two of the many SODELPA policies which are in direct conflict. There are others that SODELPA needs to work on.

But this is something voters need to be aware of – conflicting policies now and a house which is not in order is a recipe for trouble.

Feedback:  jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

 

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