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How Will You Fund Promises? A-G Questions Gavoka

His comments come follow­ing remarks made by SODEL­PA leader Viliame Gavoka that they would remove all loans taken under Tertiary Educa­tion Loans Scheme which cur­rently stands at $600m.
03 Dec 2021 14:41
How Will You Fund Promises? A-G Questions Gavoka
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum in Parliament on December 2, 2021. Photo: Parliament of Fiji

Attorney-General and Minister for Econo­my Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has challenged Opposition parties to reveal how they in­tend to fund various promises they are making now.

His comments come follow­ing remarks made by SODEL­PA leader Viliame Gavoka that they would remove all loans taken under Tertiary Educa­tion Loans Scheme which cur­rently stands at $600m.

While fact checking remarks made by Opposition parlia­mentarians, Mr Sayed-Khai­yum pointed that that on one hand Mr Gavoka complains about debt and immediately goes on with “his pie in the sky promises to write of TELS debt, to make tertiary educa­tion free and to remove VAT that will further diminish Government revenues.

“Mr Speaker Sir, while he goes on to make these promis­es without any costing and all, he goes full on defensive about why political parties should not provide details on their policy proposals as now required under the amendments to the Financial Management Act and Electoral Act. Why? So they can fool people with their false promises like these ones.

“In fact, Mr Speaker Sir, SODELPA’s proposal to waive of TELS debt will mean Government will write off $600 million in TELS debt and in­cur further $200 million every to fund tertiary students.

“Removal of VAT completely will deprive Gov­ernment of almost $700 million in revenues. If they are proposing only certain items that we had in the past, which they were not clear about, it will deprive Government of around $100 mil­lion in revenue.

“But as we have said in the past, VAT zero rating creates distortion, it cre­ates administrative com­plexities and as we saw in the past there were huge revenue leakage from VAT fraud which becomes eas­ier when we do not have proper VAT Monitoring Systems. So how are they going to compensate this? Borrow more? But they are complaining about debt.”

He further questioned why National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad was not talking about gov­ernment revenue which would be lost by removing the 20 cents per litre tax on fuel.

“And how they would com­pensate for it. Are they go­ing to borrow more? Are they going to increase any other tax? Are they going to cut expenditure? Which expenditure specifically, Mr Speaker Sir. They never talk about this. That’s why Mr Speaker Sir, the people don’t trust them. Their math’s is never correct.”

 



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