2022 General Election: ‘No bond for students’ – Gavoka

SOPDELPA party leader Viliame Gavoka. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU/FT FILE

A Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) government will not place students in their free tertiary education initiative under any kind of bond.

SODELPA leader Viliame Gavoka said this at a rally at Syria Park, Nausori yesterday.

Speaking to supporters, he said students would not be burdened by bonds.

“We will not bond you, you will not be bonded for your Tertiary Education Loans Scheme (TELS) or through your free tertiary education,” Mr Gavoka said.

“You can take your qualification anywhere in the world, we want you to take the world as your oyster.

“We don’t want you to be carrying a burden.”

However, a post on the SODELPA Facebook page said the only exception would be for those in the medical profession.

“The only exception will be with the doctors and other medical professionals who will be required to serve a prescribed number of years, as is the case today.”

On other initiatives, Mr Gavoka spoke on included the payment of lease premium by farmers who have acquired lease approvals from landowners.

“A SODELPA government will pay for that premium to help farmers and for the financing of landowners.

“We will pay for the premium so that agriculture will flourish and for landowners to be rewarded for allowing their land to be farmed.”

He said $159 million would be allocated for iTaukei affairs in the yearly budget and it would include a grant to Melanesian Vasu-i-Taukei.

“Altogether you’re talking about $179 million or $180 million.

“Some may be asking where we are going to get the money from.

“We see the amount of tax cut that has been done to big companies, which we have been constantly pointing out in Parliament.

“In Australia they’re paying 30 per cent, New Zealand 20 per cent and so we need to bring that back.

“There are a lot of places where we can get the funds from.

“If we want the iTaukei people to grow then we have to be bold, we have to be confident to raise revenue in this manner.”

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