Categorized | National News

PLP Defends Jobs’ Record–Chairman says PLP never promised 10,000 jobs

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts yesterday defended the government’s performance on job creation and maintained that the PLP never promised to create 10,000 jobs within its first year in office.

Mr. Roberts, who appeared as a guest on Jones and Company Sunday, said that such a promise never came from the party but rather its Deputy Leader Philip Davis.

“The Progressive Liberal Party entered into an arrangement with the Bahamian people via its charter of governance, there is nowhere in that charter of governance, where there was a commitment or a promise made of creating 10,000 jobs,” he said.

“What happened was this, the deputy leader of our party at a rally in Eleuthera on his own made a suggestion that we could create 10,000 jobs within the year or whatever the time was, that became a cornerstone and attached to that as a commitment made by the PLP.”

Mr. Davis during a rally in Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera, told the crowd that a PLP-led government was prepared to create 10,000 immediate jobs.

A promise of job creation, particularly for young Bahamians, was a cornerstone of the PLP’s election campaign.

In the PLP’s 2012 Charter for Governance, the party promised to create more than 22,000 jobs within five years, promote The Bahamas effectively for direct investments and local entrepreneurships, increase opportunities for Bahamians to become employers and facilitate business growth.

When asked if the party had set expectations that were too high, Mr. Roberts maintained that it did not.

Prime Minister Perry Christie said last Tuesday at a press conference on the eve of his government’s second-year anniversary, he was satisfied with the government’s performance and avoided providing a grade, however other political parties issued report cards.

During a Free National Movement (FNM) rally that same night, Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis, described the government’s performance as an “abysmal failure which he claimed has “led to misery for tens of thousands of Bahamians.”

“[There has been] failure to act on rising crime, failure to produce jobs, failure to deliver on their promises so they must consider it a masterful achievement that they have delivered on virtually none of their promises to the Bahamian people,” Dr. Minnis said.

“Under this PLP Government, everything is up except wages and salaries – Business Licence fees are up, Customs charges are up, food prices are up, the price of gas is up and unemployment is up – dramatically so instead of the promised 10,000 in the first year in office, the economy lost jobs. They said they had the solution to crime all wrapped up in a present called Urban Renewal 2.0.

“What they have delivered is record increase in crime disguised in mambo jumbo talk as a miraculous decrease in crime. Not even their most ardent, blind supporters believe that.”

The Democratic National Alliance (DNA) has also rated the government’s performance as a failure stating that the Christie administration still has no direction to lead the country.

The party has also criticised the government for not delivering on its various promises as well.

Labour Minister Shane Gibson, who also appeared on the show, said that the government has made significant progress in the creation of jobs but admitted that more has to be done.

“We knew what we were up against, we knew what the people wanted so all we did was say this is, ‘what we’re going to do for you, we have a five year contract,’ everyone keeps grading us as if we have a one or two year contract, we have a five year contract,” he said.

“When you look at the state of the economy when we came into office, it was impossible to turn it around in two years and put it in a position where everybody would be happy and say, ‘I’m glad we elected the PLP’.

“We had to first stabilise the economy which we’ve done, during our first two years we created some jobs in Grand Bahama, we created some jobs in Bimini, we created some jobs in the other phase of Albany and look what’s happening in Andros with BAMSI, we are literally transforming Andros and transforming the agricultural industry and so when you look at all the signs at what we’re doing now, if you really want to be objective you have to say some good things are happening, now are we where we want to be? No,”

According to the latest Department of Statistics Labour Force Survey there was an increase in the number of employed persons and a decrease in the number of unemployed persons, resulting in a nationwide unemployment rate of 15.4 per cent, a decline over the 16.2 per cent recorded in May 2013.

The survey also noted that unemployment among youths (15-24 years old) remain “considerably higher” than any other age group, with the overall rate at 32.3 per cent – slightly higher than the rate recorded in May 2013.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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