Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says he has assurance from his cabinet that there are enough funds available to cater for the back-to-school cash assistance of $200 per child for families with an income of $50,000 and less.
The government yesterday announced this initiative, which starts today, and applications will be open until January 20th.
Rabuka says the finance ministry has been working on solutions to ensure that people who meet the criteria are adequately assisted.
“I have received assurance from the Minister that we will not have any setback. He has looked at the whole distribution of funds and fun das allocated in the remaining part of this budget and he has assured me that it is okay.”
Finance Minister, Professor Biman Prasad says the $50million needed to assist around 220,000 students will be funded from non-priority areas.
“We have identified areas, which were in our view, and we know that and the people now that, were not priority expenditures and so we understand, we have a crippling debt situation that we have to manage but we also have to look at how to balance our expenditure in terms of what is priority and what is not.”
The finance ministry will start making payments from January 25th.