STATEMENT BY SENATOR FRED MITCHELL
OPPOSITION SPOKESMAN ON LABOUR
ON THE UNEMPLOYMENT STATS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
11 August 2017
The Labour Survey facts now released by the Department of Statistics, as opposed to the propaganda department of the FNM, show that the PLP left the country in good shape to grow and prosper. Under the PLP, unemployment was trending downwards, employment was trending upwards. Under the PLP, the deficit was trending downwards, the revenue was up, reforms were underway, the financial services, immigration, health care, tourism and public service sectors were being reformed, and the country was headed in the right direction. The people of the country prior to the general election had every reason to have confidence in the government that they had. Those are the facts.
Unlike the FNM in 2012, the PLP did not leave the economy in a wheel chair.
On the other hand, we have a government that has now proven to have deceived the Bahamian public on the unemployment and employment figures, the revenue and the value added tax, on the state of the nation’s deficit and that of the economy generally.
They came to office based on a fundamental set of deceits and conceits. Based on their propaganda, they have laid off staff from the public service, they have cut back spending in the economy. They have decided to halt hiring in the public service, at a critical time when the country was poised for growth.
The Government is the largest spender in this economy. When they cut back and fire, the whole country trembles and the private sector follows. Consumer spending is contracted and revenues begin to drop. Investors lose confidence in the economy, when the Government preaches doom and gloom as the FNM is doing.
The FNM through its current policies is damaging the reputation of the country, talking down the economy and threatening investor confidence. It is unable to stop campaigning and start governing.
Schools will re-open in two weeks. Money should be in good supply to help parents with their back to school burdens. Instead, the FNM preaches doom and gloom.
We take some comfort in the fact that we were doing the right thing for the economy and easing unemployment and suffering. We can take little comfort in saying we told you so, because the present suffering inflicted by the FNM has consequences for the people of The Bahamas.
The latest employment numbers show 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 5 year term. Regardless of what is said about the PLP government, those are the objective numbers and the unvarnished facts.
The daunting challenge facing the FNM administration is to continue this positive pro-growth trend. It is unfortunate that the incoming FNM administration has started off on a losing wicket with its mass firing exercises while blaming it all on the PLP.
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.