NATION

Income Threshold Increases

More students will now be eligible for the transport assistance scheme after the Government has increased the combined income eligibility threshold from $15,000 to $15,600. Minister for Education Mahendra Reddy
16 Jan 2015 11:27
Income Threshold Increases
Graduate teachers line up at Quality House, Suva for their postings yesterday. Photo: Rama

More students will now be eligible for the transport assistance scheme after the Government has increased the combined income eligibility threshold from $15,000 to $15,600.

Minister for Education Mahendra Reddy said more parents and students could now apply if the parent had a joint income of less than $15,600.

“The reduction in allocation for bus fare subsidy despite the increase in threshold should not cause any worry to eligible families,” Mr Reddy said.

He said last year, Government had allocated $20.8million for the bus fare subsidy, however this year only $20m had been budgeted.

“We had savings from last year because we utilised close to $16m or so, so $5m more is still in the safe zone and this is the reason for the decrease in allocation,” Mr Reddy said.

“Students who wish to be assisted the bus fare as well as rural service usage need to apply now with relevant documents and this includes those that have been assisted in the past years.”

He said they would need to download a form from the ministry’s home page or obtain a form from their divisional offices and provide necessary information, particularly details of income.

“Some people living in rural areas may not have formal income slips so they will have to provide a declaration from a justice of the peace or an advisory officer from a rural area to certifying the gross income of a particular family.”

Meanwhile, Mr Reddy said the new batches of vouchers were different from the ones used previously which were generic.

“We are re-designing the vouchers and now we will have the students’ names as well as the school on the vouchers.”

Mr Reddy said they wanted all the processing work for the bus vouchers to be done within this week so that students were assisted from the first week of school.

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