NATION

A-G Warns Landlords Over Raising Rents to Students

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has warned landlords not to raise rents to students. He said there was a freeze on rent increase imposed by Government. He made
12 May 2017 10:38
A-G Warns Landlords Over Raising Rents to Students
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum talking to students at the Fiji National University in Natabua during the Budget consultation on May 11, 2017. Photo: DEPTFO News

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has warned landlords not to raise rents to students.

He said there was a freeze on rent increase imposed by Government.

He made the remarks in response to concerns expressed by students about high rents during the Budget consultations at Fiji National University Lautoka Campus in Natabua yesterday.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he would also look into their submissions on the allowances presently allocated.

Students of FNU at Natabua and University of Fiji in Saweni, Lautoka, yesterday complained of high rents.

They asked for a review of their allowances under the TELS Programme for accommodation.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was told that people who owned homes close to both campuses were charging high rent to students.

These students come from outside Lautoka or from rural or maritime areas.

FNU students said they had to use their meal allowance to top up the $200 accommodation allowance to pay for the rent.

Other issues raised include:

  •  Update on student allowances. It took between five to six weeks and in this time students were out of pocket because they had to pay for fares from Ba and Tavua.

It was suggested that the proper time to disburse their allowances would be before the beginning of a semester and thereafter more regularly.

  •  Government should investigate as to where FNU was spending the $58 million allocation from the Budget.
  •  Government should look at building a student area and for lockers to be installed so students could lock their bags away.
  •  A lecturer submitted that Government look at increase funding to Fisheries and Forestry to increase their contribution to the economy. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there had been minimal technical updates for agriculture.
  •  Government should allocate funds in FNU’s allocation for the construction of labs at FNU in Suva.
  •  A student submitted Government provide incentives for science-based studies. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum replied that Government was already doing that by skewing the TOPPERS scholarship towards the field of science instead of law. He said the country already had too many lawyers.

He said the country needed more specialists in the medical profession as this was the 21st Century and Fiji still did not even have a speech specialist as an example. For doctors wanting to pursue and attain Post Graduate, Government would fund their schooling free.

  •  A student submitted that Government find ways to assist teachers who found it a slow practice to get a teaching job at a secondary school as opposed to those who wanted to teach primary schools.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj


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