Categorized | National News

Turnquest: Don’t Bank On More Jobs

Just days after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised The Bahamas’ economic growth forecast down, East Grand Bahama Member of Parliament (MP) Peter Turnquest says he doesn’t expect a lot more jobs to be available to Bahamians.

The IMF cut the nation’s projected economic growth to 2.1, a great distance from the 5.5 per cent needed to show good economic growth.

The cut means that unemployment numbers over the next two years are not expected to drop, despite the government’s efforts to add more jobs.

Minister of State for Finance Michael Halkitis released a statement noting that the projected numbers don’t necessarily mean unemployment will increase.

Mr. Turnquest agreed, saying that he is “correct to an extent,” but that he has to “tell the whole truth to Bahamians.”

“The minister indicated that the IMF downgrade projection is not a downgrade of the economy,” he told The Bahama Journal. “That is true to an extent in terms of the credit worthiness. It’s not a downgrade of our credit worthiness.”

“It gives an indication of the growth that is expected over the next two years. Of course the IMF said we needed a minimum of 5.5 per cent growth in order to have any effect on the unemployment level. All of these at the end of the day will factor in to the credit worthiness of the country.”

With the mega resort Baha Mar expected to open in December 2014, the government expects thousands of jobs to be created for Bahamians.

However, Mr. Turnquest said, the government has to do a bit more if it intends on bringing unemployment numbers down, as it is a result of a global crisis.

“I think that over the next year or two, we’re very much going to see a level of unemployment numbers,” he said.

“I think that the growth is going to be minimal, at best. We’re all looking forward to the completion of Baha Mar next year and here in Grand Bahama, [we’re waiting for] the Our Lucaya project to be finished, [they’re] the only major items on the drawing board at this stage. Overall, if we watch the global economy, everyone is projecting moderate growth and I don’t think we’re going to be any different here in The Bahamas.”

The Free National Movement (FNM) MP said it will be interesting to see what happens in terms of employment in the country over the next two years.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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