23 January, 2007

New school year starts today

The new school year starts today. Roads are again busy with students rushing to school. This culminates with the army announcing that it will be removing all its roadblocks during the day. The beginning of the school year has had its controversies with parents complaining about the high cost of books, uniforms and fees. The Consumer Council and the Commerce Commission are investigating how parents and students are being forced to buy all their requirements from a particular outlet after schools entered into such specific arrangements with particular outlets to supply their uniforms and all related gear. The Council and the Commission both say that this is in breach of fair trading laws which states that a consumer should be given a choice. If the Council and Commission win, then we expect to see a reduction of prices as outlets will have to again compete with each other without any of them enjoying exclusive rights to sell a particular school's items. The first school term runs until end April 2007, after which there is a two week break.

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