NEWS

MONEY UP FOR GRABS

Parents can apply for $180 per child under 18 years old in the next six months. If they have five children, they can collect $900.
18 Jul 2022 15:40
MONEY UP FOR GRABS
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Photo: DEPTFO

Parents with a combined annual income of less than $50,000 qualify for cash grants and have been encouraged to apply.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum urged them to take advantage of the incentives at the Digicel Duavata Northern Crime Prevention Carnival on Saturday, where he was chief guest.

Parents can apply for $180 per child under 18 years old in the next six months. If they have five children, they can collect $900.

But they have to apply through an on-online portal that will be set up soon.

 

This was one of the several initiatives announced in the 2022- 2023 National Budget last Friday. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the initiatives were aimed at mitigating the effects of rising inflationary pressures on household disposable incomes.

He said: “We have put in place a number of initiatives, please take advantage of it. Read the Budget, we are here to assist children. If you have children we have various incentives there for you, please read about it and apply for those incentives in the next couple of weeks or so.”

In addition, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said Fiji was able to boost its economy, reopen borders and welcome tourists back to our shores because of the collective efforts of all Fijians together with Government.

Apart from increased education assistance, bus fare subsidies and social welfare cash help, direct cash support for all tertiary students enrolled at any local institution was also announced which includes the provision of $180 cash assistance over the next six months.

 

SODELPA
Meanwhile, SODELPA Party Leader Viliame Gavoka said the party wanted to delve into Fiji’s revenue measures which they believed had lots of room to grow.

“An example is the stamp duty which has been a source of Government revenue since the 30’s, but has been gradually abolished. It used to fetch us some $60-$80 million each year. There are others we have identified and they do add up and would make a huge difference for the welfare of our people,” he said.

“SODELPA wants huge subsidies for fuel and basic items which are now skyrocketing and impacting our lives.

“We will be highlighting the potential for additional revenue in the debates. We want to do more for our people and it all hinges on the revenue we can realise.”

 

Fiji Labour Party

Fiji Labour Party (FLP) Leader Mahendra Chaudhry said he was disappointed that the Agriculture ministry did not receive any special focus and was completely ignored in the budget.

The ministry received an allocation of $64.1million, which Mr Chaudhry claimed was a decrease of 13per cent from the previous Budget and 11per cent in the 2018/2019 Budget.

“There has been a lot of rhetoric from the Government about boosting agricultural production. This is not reflected in the Budget. There is a need to broaden our economic base yet agriculture has received no special focus,” he said.

The $30 per child direct cash assistance, he said was a band-aid measure which was inadequate to truly mitigate against the rising costs.

 

The People’s Alliance

The PA Leader Sitiveni Rabuka labelled the budget as a “patch up job budget” and an election budget which he claimed was designed to appeal to voters in the upcoming election.

“This is the sad reality of this Budget that we heard on Friday night. I had hoped that Mr Sayed-Khaiyum would show some responsibility and lay it bear with the people: we have gone through some very tough economic times, we are not out of the woods yet, so bear with us,” Mr Rabuka said.

“Instead, it seems the Minister has decided to go loose on a spending spree for the next six months, worrying the least about what happens afterwards. We can only pray that there will be no unexpected major economic upheaval, like a damaging cyclone to cause havoc to Mr Sayed- Khaiyum’s party.”

He said The People’s Alliance and National Federation Party would call for a full audit of Government’s financial situation if they win the election.

 

Unity Fiji

Leader Savenaca Narube said they had written an open letter to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to offer their preliminary opinion on the Budget as previous reactions had not gone far.

He said the party had requested the PM to sack the Minister for Economy and offered his service as the PM’s adviser on economic and financial matters.

“The Minister seems to have fallen in love with borrowing,” Mr Narube said, adding that there was no clear plan or vision in the Budget.

He said assistance announced to ease the cost of living had come too late, were inadequate and aimed at buying votes.

Unity Fiji is expected to put out a more detailed assessment of the Budget in the next few days.

 

National Federation Party

NFP leader Biman Prasad did not want to comment on the budget when contacted by the Fiji Sun yesterday.

 

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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