PLP is ignoring job losses, says OBA
In a campaign that is becoming increasingly rancorous, the One Bermuda Alliance threw up the spectre of another 1,000 jobs lost by mid 2013 and 50 percent unemployment for 2015 and said the Progressive Labour Party “have turned a blind eye” to unemployment figures.
The OBA was responding to a PLP statement on Sunday that questioned why the OBA did not praise the opening of Red Steakhouse & Bar in the former Silk premises with 15 jobs for Bermudians, and the Government policies that supported the opening of the restaurant.
Nick Kempe, a member of the OBA’s shadow finance board and candidate for Constituency 18, said: “While this Government wants to pat itself on the back, claiming their policies are to credit for creating 15 restaurant jobs in Hamilton, it appears they have turned a blind eye to the unemployment figures in its own Labour Force Survey issued last month.
“Since 2009, under those same Government policies, unemployment in Bermuda has doubled. Last month, under those same Government policies, the reported number of unemployed in Bermuda reached 3,305.
“Under those same Government policies, ten percent of Bermudians are now unemployed, including nearly four out of every ten young Bermudians between 16 and 24. Just this week, under those same Government policies, nine jobs were lost at Computer City, and Butterfield Bank said it is looking to trim 56 jobs, which equates to roughly nine percent of its workforce meaning 56 more jobs are gone. That leaves a net loss for the week at more than 60 jobs gone. At that rate, another 1,000 jobs will be gone by next summer,” he said.
While the PLP accused the OBA of “harp(ing) on the negative,” and said there are new businesses opening every month, including six in St. George’s, the OBA stated: “So while the Government desperately tries to mislead the public into thinking that its economic policies are working, over 10,000 residents more than a quarter of Bermuda's workforce are now unemployed or underemployed. And if the current trend continues, unemployment and underemployment in Bermuda could reach a staggering 50 percent by 2015.
“Bermuda needs facts, not spin, to help us dig out of its economic hole. As my leader Craig Cannonier said in the Throne Speech reply: ‘If you can’t acknowledge a problem exists, how can you be expected to fix it?”