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Consumers urged to take advantage of new opportunities in 2018/2019 budget

June 29, 2018 8:21 pm

The Consumer Council of Fiji says the 2018/2019 national budget provides Fijians with an opportunity to improve their lives.

The Council says it give consumers something to look forward to in the coming fiscal year.

Chief Executive, Premila Kumar says there’s been allocations to innovative health schemes, first home owners, pensioners and an unprecedented $1billion allocation to the education sector.

Kumar says the $3.5million subsidy for Kidney Dialysis is highly appreciated as it’s a relief which will greatly reduce dialysis costs for families in need of the treatments.

People with household incomes over $30,000 will be offered dialysis for $150 a treatment and families under the $30,000 threshold will be able to attain the same service for $75 a treatment.

The Council says it’s also good to see the inclusion of other injuries that will be handled by the Accident Compensation Commission of Fiji.

Another good news is imposing fines on telecommunication companies in the event they fail to deliver the services as expected and paid for.

Telecommunications companies now have further incentive to ensure their promised network coverage is maintained and consumers are given opportunity to access the service they are paying for.

The Council also welcomes the removal of all EFTPOS fees from Debit and Credit cards.

Hence, the waiver of the EFTPOS fees will ensure adequate consumer protection, as we move towards a cashless economy.

The Council also notes the increase of the plastic bag levy to 20 cents and looks forward to the enforcement of the new provisions for traders who are not entitled to charge ECAL/ STT and VAT.

The Council encourages consumers to take advantage of the opportunities provided in the new budget.