Published On: Mon, Feb 10th, 2014

LPM admonishes Dr. Anthony to keep his word on job creation

Castries Saint LuciaCASTRIES, St Lucia – The Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) has expressed grave concerns over a recent report, issued by the Department of Statistics, revealing that the country’s unemployment figures have risen to 24.9 percent, and the party has called upon the Prime Minister to address this inconsistency in light of his recent national speech proclaiming that the “worst is over.”

While the LPM would not venture to characterise Dr. Anthony’s most recent address to the nation as an act of deception, his speech failed to adequately address the country’s unemployment epidemic.

With approximately 25,000 Saint Lucians out of a job, and the numbers still rising, it appears that, very soon, we may have a socioeconomic crisis of untold proportions on our hands. No country, especially one with a growing youthful population, can afford to have so many young people roaming its length and breadth with nothing to do.

The LPM argues that the challenges are enormous and may require Dr. Anthony’s government to undertake an honest assessment of why its signature job-creation programmes—namely the National Initiative to Create Employment (NICE), the Short Term Employment Programme (STEP) and the soon-to-expire Construction Stimulus Package—have failed so miserably to stem the growing tide of unemployment in the country.

The LPM maintains that public focus must continue to remain largely on the issues of crime reduction and job creation, as these are critical areas that serve not only as prime indicators of our government’s performance, but also as road maps for the kind of future that awaits our nation.

In this regard, it may not be a bad idea to upgrade our job-reporting capabilities to allow for the Department of Statistics to provide a transparent monthly report on how many jobs were created in the country. No nation that is serious about solving its crime problems and creating jobs should have to wait until the Prime Minister’s yearly budget address to ascertain whether or not it is moving in the right direction.

The Saint Lucia Labour Party campaigned on a platform of crime reduction and job creation; therefore, we, as a nation, should accept nothing less.

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