Categorized | National News

DNA Deputy Leader Calls for Economic Growth Plan

According to Democratic National Alliance Deputy Leader Arinthia Komolafe,
Bahamians are waking up to the reality that electing a government without an economic growth plan has serious consequences.

She said that the unemployment report issued last week by the Department of Statistics shows an absence of policy initiatives for “incentivizing the private sector”, and as a result, the economy has remained stagnant.

Mrs. Komolafe says the increase in the unemployment rate between November 2017 and May of this year can be attributed in part to the termination of 2,555 individuals from the public sector.

She also said that this report suggests no correction to the labour market as the Private Sector has not created enough jobs to compensate for these losses and new entrants into the labor market.

Mrs. Komolafe said, “It is simply impossible to tax and borrow our way out of our fiscal predicament. Further, austerity without an accompanying plan to
grow the economy could imperil the economic fortunes of a nation.

“The recent labor force survey in May 2018 follows a significant employment drive by Baha Mar and what has been touted as a spectacular and record breaking first quarter for the tourism industry in The Bahamas. We can only imagine what the labor force survey would have shown had Baha Mar not
been the main driver of economic activity since May 2017,” said Mrs. Komolafe.

She also said that the IMF has been quoted stating that the country needs 5.5% economic growth to absorb all new entrants into the Bahamian workforce and to cut existing unemployment rates in half.

She suggested that deliberate actions, steps and initiatives be undertaken to achieve the desired and target growth levels.

Mrs. Komolafe said it is “reckless and irresponsible to leave this important policy making role of the government to chance, luck or coincidence and adds that The Bahamas needs a plan that will ensure sustainable economic growth and insulate the nation from external shocks.”

She also noted that the “dismal” record of the government on the economy was achieved prior to the implementation of a 60% increase in the Value Added Tax and this “targeted assault” on a shrinking middle class and anticipated reduction in the disposable income of consumers could further dampen demand of an already fragile economy.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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