RM6 Billion To Provide Free Education


KUALA LUMPUR, 27 FEB: The cost of free education offered by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in the People’s Manifesto is estimated to amount to RM6 billion a year to implement.

PKR Strategy Director, Rafizi Ramli explained that the amount also involves PR’s offer to nullify the debts of the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN) incurred by graduates of higher education.

According to him, RM600 million per year will be needed as additional provisions to cover 10 percent of the costs at Public Institutes of Higher Learning (IPTA).

So far, the Federal Government has spent RM7.5 billion annually to bear 90 percent of the costs at IPTA.

“If we want to give fee waivers, we have to add an additional RM600 million.

“Giving scholarships to students are lower than the compensations given to cronies.

“For example, a forgiven compensation is the debts of Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli worth RM650 million which can provide fee waivers to IPTA students,” he said.

The Pakatan Rakyat Manifesto which was announced on February 26 targets to provide free education up to university level.

Rafizi said that RM6 billion amount includes RM2.5 billion for the provision of living allowances of RM5,000 per year for 500,000 students.

Apart from that, Rafizi explained that an estimated cost of RM2 billion will be needed to takeover PTPN debts after it is abolished and paid in instalments over 20 years.

Meanwhile RM900 million a year is needed to fund IPTS fee subsidies and living expenses.

In the meantime, Rafizi slammed statements by Umno-BN leaders who twisted facts by saying that a reduction of 20 percent off car prices will result in the country losing RM7 billion.

“Pakatan has never said to reduce (car prices) at once. But gradually by 20 percent each year so there is price balance of new and used car,” he said.

The effect of the loss of excise taxes from the reduction of car prices according to calculations of the People’s Manifesto Committee for the year 2013 amounts to RM1.4 million.

This losses can be mitigated through additional income of selling APs which are auctioned for luxury cars.

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