The Opposition has raised questions as to why the coalition government transferred funds set aside for specific provisions to fund the $10 million grant paid to the University of the South Pacific and the Back to School initiative.
Leader of Opposition Inia Seruiratu says this is irresponsible of the government given the intentions in which these funds were allocated in the 2022/2023 budget.
Seruiratu also highlighted where the funds for these two programs came from, such as the $500,000 from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which was earmarked for the refurbishment of overseas missions.
He also said that $1 million was transferred from the Prime Minister's office, $6.3 million from the Ministry of Communications and $1.3 million for the Walesi capital grant to fund the $10 million payment to USP.
The Opposition Leader says to fund the $50 million Back to School initiative; $9.6 million came from the Ministry of Health, $8.6 million from the Ministry of Housing and Community Development, $5.9 million from the Ministry of Trade and Commerce, $2.7 million from the Ministry of Education and $1.5 million for Solar Homes Systems.
He says most of these funds were prioritised by the different ministries for projects that could have assisted the people.
Seruiratu says this is totally irresponsible of a Government that claims to care about the people.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Professor Biman Prasad had earlier stated that the Back to School initiative was a timely support that was critical in ensuring that our children were well prepared and equipped for the new school year with few hassles.
We have also sent questions to Professor Prasad. He is yet to respond.
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