Categorized | National News

“Gov’t Not Trusted on Unemployment Stats,” Says Turnquest

Free National Movement Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest said the government and the minister of labour cannot be trusted in their presentation of the country’s unemployment statistics.

Turnquest made this statement following Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson’s response to an article written in a local daily, where he attempted to deflect attention from a substantive discussion on the results of the recent Labour Force Survey.

According to Turnquest, Gibson deflected attention from the survey results by making “the outrageous, unsubstantiated, inaccurate and flat out bogus claim” that he criticized the hard working and faithful civil servants of the Department of Statistics.

But Turnquest said it is Gibson and the government that has a verifiable record of calling into question the quality and accuracy of the Department of Statistics’ work whenever the results are unfavourable to their narrow interest.

To add further support to his claim that the government cannot be trusted with the unemployment statistics, Turnquest pointed out that in February of this year, Gibson said officials were working on a formula to incorporate National Insurance Board contribution payment statistics into the Department of Statistics’ work, which would give a better reflection of the job climate in the country.

But Gibson later defended his criticism of the Department of Statistics seeking to cast further doubt over the Labour Force Survey for that period, Turnquest said.

“Clearly by their own comments, Minister Gibson and his PLP government have no credibility in this matter and cannot be trusted to present an objective evaluation of the present employment statistics,” Turnquest explained. “When the results are in their favour they support the workers, but when they are not, they seek to create doubt in the minds of the public over the professionalism, completeness and accuracy of the Department of Statistics.”

He said Gibson’s suggestion that the NIB statistics should overlay the work of the Department of Statistics, calls into question the integrity of those professionals engaged there and Gibson should be called out on it.

“It is clear that this government and the minister continues to have little respect for the intelligence of Bahamians and forgets the advantages of multiple online, print and electronic media archives, a development facilitated by the FNM,” Turnquest added.

The recent Labour Force Survey revealed a 36 per cent increase in unemployment for the financial services sector.

However, FNM deputy leader said he supports and respects the work of the Department of Statistics and encourages Gibson and the government to do the same and begin the process of providing sustained jobs for Bahamians.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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