The Fiji First Government’s insatiable appetite to hand out freebies in a shameful act of vote buying has resulted in massive bungling of the lottery for taxi permits, says the National Federation Party.
NFP Leader Professor Biman Prasad said the gross mishandling of the lottery has become clear after the Land Transport Authority put out a advertisement in today’s Fiji Sun admitting that “some” who received the permits provided false information.
The LTA said it was an offence under the Crimes Act 2009 to provide false information and has given permit recipients until 21st August to return the permits or risk being charged.
“Government’s desperate attempt to buy votes has resulted in this bungling. Deserving applicants have been denied a permit while those well above the household income threshold of $20,000 have allegedly benefited and received permits”.
“LTA must tell the public how did those who allegedly did not qualify were put into the lottery that the Attorney General and Minister for Economy described as most transparent”.
“For the sake of transparency and accountability, the LTA should publish the list of all permit recipients as well those who missed out”.
“There is no use threatening permit recipients with Crimes Act when the Attorney General, who shouldn’t have been there in the first place but did so because he was electioneering, was blindfolded and to draw the names”.
“This is similar to threats issued by Government when thousands of people benefited from Home Care”.
“This is a problem when you have a desperate government thinking its circus tricks will convince people to vote for them”.
“But in this case Government and the Attorney General have become the butt of laughter and dislike because of the haphazard manner this lottery was conducted”.
Professor Biman Prasad