Categorized | National News

Gov’t To Shut Down Job Scheme

Prime Minister Perry Christie has repeatedly said that the 52-week jobs programme introduced by the Ingraham administration was not the best way to deal with the unemployment issue and on Tuesday announced plans to shut it down.
During the campaign trail, Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) said that the Ingraham administration’s 52 week jobs programme made no sense and that it was all a political ploy to get votes.

He said in the not too distant future the programme will be a thing of the past.

“The programme will end,” Mr. Christie said. “It’s stagnant. As people come off the 52 weeks as it ends, the programme will end.”

“But concurrent with the ending of the programme there are applications for people to get new jobs in other areas or in the same areas.”

Prime Minister Perry Christie said his party always questioned the impact of the programme that started off as a $25 million plan but quickly ballooned into a $48 million programme and how it would truly integrate the unemployed.

But, according to Mr. Christie, the jobs programme has not lived up to its promises.

Despite its shortfalls, Mr. Christie commended the programme, noting that it significantly helped some people who were unemployed for years as well as some government agencies that now depend on those hired under the plan.

But in its totality, Prime Minister Christie said it has done more harm than good.

“I meet people outside of my office who are rowing that they have been taken off the programme,” he continued. “And when I ask why they are taken off of the programme they said it is because they were not turning up to work but that they were not the only ones turning up to work.”

“The programme is deficient in the sense that we cannot account for people receiving money in terms of them doing the job. It was never structured in a way where you could be accountable for the money you were spending and that the people were actually going to work. And people were being hired right up to election day.”

The prime minister said he cannot say if the programme was successful or not so the government will now conduct a complete audit.

“Mr. (Michael) Halkitis has the job if auditing the programme, with a view to ensuring that we learn lessons from the programme,” he added. “But you know as we mentioned from the day we were elected that we were not going to allow that kind of programme happen again, especially in the middle of elections.”

The 52-week jobs programme was introduced earlier this year as a stimulus to jumpstart the economy as well as curb unemployment figures.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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