Categorized | National News

‘PLP Laid Foundation for Unemployment Decrease,’ Says Roberts

Two of the more vocal figures on the opposition side have claimed that the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) has more to do with the recent drop in unemployment than the previous administration.

Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts and Opposition Senator Fred Mitchell have reiterated similar claims, with the pair indicating that the previous administration should be praised for the recent revelations.

Last Friday, Mr. Roberts said these figures represent further empirical evidence that the PLP did the heavy lifting and laid a firm and strong foundation of progress on which to build.

“Regardless of what is said about the PLP government under Mr. Christie, those are the objective numbers and facts. The PLP accepts that more must be done for our people,” Mr. Roberts said.

“The daunting challenge facing the Minnis administration is to continue this positive growth rate it is unfortunate that the incoming FNM (Free National Movement) administration has started off on a losing wicket with their mass firing exercises.

“We know that with an unemployment rate of 9.9 percent prior to the 2017 general election, there are still some 20,000 unemployed Bahamians with some 5,000 students expected to join the labour force.  The FNM has their work cut out for them.”

Likewise, Mitchell, in an interview with The Bahama Journal last Friday, said the numbers released by the Department of Statistics, opposed greatly to what he calls the propaganda department of the FNM.

“Yet again the statistics as opposed to the propaganda of the FNM, the statistics demonstrate that what the PLP was doing was actually correct,” Mr. Mitchell said.

“The FNM ran a campaign based on untruths and deceit which they perpetrated on the electorate amongst those deceits were the stuff they said about VAT, what they said about the revenue, what they said about the deficit, all of which proved to be false and now these statistics come out and show what they said about employment figures were also false.”

The opposition senator added that the government hasn’t gained any traction since the May 10 general election and moves they’ve made only hurt the country’s unemployment situation rather than help.

“Now we have a situation where that stats show what actually happened, but since the general election the government has just been going in reverse,” Mr. Mitchell said.

“It’s dismissed people from the Public Service. They said they are not going to hire any more people, cut back 10 percent on spending, talking down the economy.

“One hates to say I told you so, but what the government is doing is going to invoke suffering on the people, and the PLP in my view left the country in good shape and not in a wheelchair like Dr. Minnis said.”

In a statement, Mitchell added that between May 2012 and May 2017, under the PLP administration, 39,505 jobs were added to the national economy with 7,770 added in the last six months of the PLP’s term in office.

“This is the largest jobs expansion by any government administration in any five year term,” Mitchell said.

The country’s unemployment rate has dipped below 10 percent for the first time since the great recession, according to data released by the Department of Statistics, which listed employment increases in the civil service, tourism industry and construction sector as contributing factors.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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