Categorized | National News

“FNM Did Its Best”-MP-Elect Defends Party

Former State Minister for Social Services in the recently ousted Ingraham administration Loretta Butler-Turner said the former government did its best to keep struggling Bahamians afloat despite widespread criticisms that the party ignored their cries for help.

On Monday, Mrs. Butler-Turner said the FNM Government understood that many Bahamians were hurting and that there were many social issues plaguing local families.

Despite a weakened economy and a global recession she said that the former administration did all it could to cushion the blow.

“When people were out of jobs we needed to make sure that we understood their plight,” she said.

“We kept roofs over their heads, we kept food on their table their children were still able to go to school with hot lunches; their children were still able to get the uniforms that they needed and we make no apologies for those things.”

But Mrs. Butler-Turner was also quick to admit that these amenities were also stripped from many other Bahamians.

According to the latest Department of Statistics figures, more than 40,000 Bahamians are unemployed.

“People were hurting,” she added. “They had lost their jobs and they were hurting. We realised that we are not a country of production and that we are more service oriented and much of our jobs were hinged on the key industries.”

“Much of the people who lost their jobs came from the tourism sector and the reality is that people stopped traveling. We tried very hard to try and alleviate much of what they were feeling in terms of our social programmes that we implemented, in terms of our job training programme, in terms of our retooling to move them forward to find other places of employment.”

Some political pundits have criticised the former government for borrowing so much money for infrastructural works at a time when many Bahamians were losing their jobs and homes almost on a daily basis and the middle class was squeezed out.

“There was borrowing to sustain the level of living that our people had become accustomed to,” Mrs. Butler-Turner said. “It was not an easy decision. We cannot look at The Bahamas in isolation.

“I don’t think anyone can refute the shrinking of the middle class and the fact that people found themselves out of work. But when you look at it, it cannot be placed entirely at the feet of the administration. We did the best we could and we implemented projects to move people forward. This is a country that depends heavily on foreign direct investment and when the world went belly up we lost all of that. We got caught in that global recession.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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