Rabuka Again Calls Help for Peo­ple ‘Free­bies’

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

Fiji Sun - - Nation - NACANIELI TUILEVUKA Edited by Ranoba Baoa Feed­back: nacanieli.tuilevuka@fi­jisun.com.fj

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.

Photo: SODELPA/Face­book

SODELPA Leader Si­tiveni Rabuka with pro­vi­sional can­di­date Ezekiel Sharma in Fe­bru­ary 2018.

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