EDUCATION would have been free by 2003 if they were allowed to stay in after 1987, says Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry.
Chaudhry said in 1987 when Form Seven education was introduced and the University Entrance phased out, FLP made Form Seven free.
"We, the government, paid for it back then because seventh form was new and expensive.
"Most people didn't have the means to pay for it back then," he said.
"What we have now is 11 years too late.
"Has anyone ever wondered why the announcement for free education was made closer to 2014?
"To me, its nothing but a bait, a vote-buying gimmick."
When asked if the former prime minister would continue the free education scheme if FLP comes into power, he said the sustainability of the program would have to be looked at.
"So far, FLP has let the public know that we have broad policies whether its education, health or agriculture. But we will have to look at the fiscal and tax policies and see what is the state of the government's accounts?
"It's been seven years since any of the accounts have been published."
FLP in its campaign also organised a meeting last night in Tamavua to discuss issues such as this with the public.