NATION

Rabuka Again Calls Help For People ‘Freebies’

A-G, in his Budget address, explained why it is Government’s priority to provide such services The Social Democratic Liberal Party has criticised the assis­tance by Government as free­bies, and in
14 Jul 2018 11:00
Rabuka Again Calls Help For People ‘Freebies’
SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka

A-G, in his Budget address, explained why it is Government’s priority to provide such services

The Social Democratic Liberal Party has criticised the assis­tance by Government as free­bies, and in the same breath party leader Sitiveni Rabuka promised to do much better if elected into power.

Speaking at the Wailevu Sikh Temple outside Labasa Town on Wednesday night, Mr Rabuka said many pledged to support the Bainimarama Govern­ment on the basis of the Government assistance, par-ticularly the free school fees, free text¬books and free Weet-Bix and milk.

Mr Rabuka said the assistance from the FijiFirst Government to Fijians would make the 2018 general election a tough battle for his party.

“Many people are happy with the freebies and Government assistance. When we win the elections what we will do is to better these services. The free Government grant, we can do it better,” he said.

“A SODELPA Government will re­move the student loan scheme and re­place it with a scholarship scheme.

“Children cannot pay for loans and the high cost of living. For those of you, who have raised their concerns on taxi services, this can only change when you vote and it is valid.

“We will also consult the people be­fore making laws.

“We cannot complain if we do not vote. We must all register to vote, make sure everyone in our household is reg­istered to vote and to ensure they are registered to the right polling venue.

“The only time to do this is now, be­fore the Writ of Election is issued.

“There will be no more registration or changes to address and polling ven­ue once the writ is issued by the Presi­dent,” he said.

A-G on budget

But Government has time and again given valid reasons why it is essential for services like education and other assistance are provided.

It was well explained during the At­torney-General and Minister for Econ­omy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s 2018-2019 National Budget address on June 28.

“…every mother and father in Fiji wants to know that their child will grow up in a better society, with more opportunities than they knew them­selves,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“That starts with education. Before this Government, many families were left heartbroken, some were unable to send their children to school at all.

“Those days ended the moment this Government introduced free educa­tion, free textbooks and subsidised transportation to school.

“And the education revolution, Madam Speaker, started by this Government, is alive and well, with another historic al­location in this year’s budget.”

Government allocated $1.025 billion towards education in this financial pe­riod.

Mr Rabuka went on saying: “The pur­pose of my visit to the Northern Divi­sion was to show my support towards the four provisional candidates.

“Nilesh Jaduram, Ezekiel Sharma, Nemani Bulitavu and Ratu Tevita Niumataiwalu are the four candidates from the Northern Division. We have a diverse team, we are united in diver­sity,” he said.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: nacanieli.tuilevuka@fijisun.com.fj

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