FBOA tells politicians to get facts right

The FLP manifesto that promises voters that the party will reduce bus fares if elected into government. Picture: TIMOCI VULA

THE Fiji Bus Operators Association has called on politicians to avoid misleading people, and “to get their facts right” before making policy statements on the bus industry that could potentially have an impact on members of the travelling public.
The association’s call comes in response to a promise made in the Fiji Labour Party’s manifesto under social packages, stating it would reduce bus fares by removing the “9 per cent VAT levy” if elected into government in the 2018 general elections.
But FBOA general secretary Rohit Latchan said bus fares were already zero-rated for VAT, which simply meant that VAT was not charged on bus fares.
“Therefore, bus fares will not go down so they should stop misleading people,” Mr Latchan said.
He said the last time bus fares changed was in August 2009 and since then, there had been rises in operational costs, and costs associated with the modernisation and replacement of bus fleets and the introduction of electronic ticketing.
“Bus operators are urging politicians not to politicise the bus industry as they comprise privately-owned companies, operating under strict laws and regulations while doing their best to serve the people of Fiji,” Mr Latchan said.