The Fiji Times » Dixon: We will target guarantors

Guarantors for Tertiary Education Loan Scheme (TELS) students who leave Fiji to work overseas will be held liable if the student fails to repay their debt.

Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) CEO Mark Dixon said this when Liberal Social Democratic Party (SODELPA) MP Ro Teimumu Kepa asked if there were any provisions for TELS students to work in Australia under the Vuvale partnership.

The discussion took place when the House Public Accounts Committee met this week.

“If the student goes overseas, we hold their guarantors accountable,” Mr Dixon said in response.

“We will collect the funds from the guarantors, they cannot leave the country until it is cleared.

“If we need to raise the funds, we will target the guarantors. We will use starting retainer orders in debt management and we will use all the tools in the book as appropriate. »

FRCS Director of Taxation Momina Beg said many students who were under TELS had gone overseas to work under the Pacific Australian Labor Mobility Scheme in Australia.

To qualify, they had to provide two guarantors and make payment arrangements.

“Once that’s done, they can go to work but they have to make arrangements for the payments,” she said.

“Some students make payments from abroad on a monthly basis.”

She said the National Employment Center (NEC) had provided them with a list of students and their system had collected those who had debts under the TELS.

Ro Teimumu said she raised the issue because she was told that some students had been refused work in Australia because of debts they owed to TELS.

The issue was discussed when the committee was considering the report on the 2018 audited accounts of the FRCS.

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