Roban accuses Fahy of ducking the issue
The war of words continues with Shadow Home Affairs Minister Walter Roban accusing the Minister of “running from the real issues” on work permits.
A day after the Minister accused Mr Roban of “purposely” misleading the public and “damaging” Bermuda's reputation, the Opposition MP has called on him to stop ducking “legitimate questions”.
And the question he said, lies solely with drastic increases in work permits for foreign tradesmen while Bermudians tradesmen remain out of work.
This after nearly 250 work permits were granted for contract workers in the construction industry.
In a follow-up statement issued yesterday, Mr Roban said the people deserve to know if the One Bermuda Alliance Government is working for them.
Said Mr Roban: “The Minister continues to run from the real issues when he could be giving reassurances to our people that perhaps the OBA has some degree of interest in or compassion for the average Bermudian.
“He has instead ducked his responsibilities, ducked legitimate questions and attacked the messenger.
“Willing, qualified, capable, unemployed Bermudians are seeing work permits being given away like Halloween candy, while they and their families go hungry.
“They deserve answers, not OBA attacks, not OBA deflection and not OBA ducking accountability.”
He called on Government to explain to workers, the unemployed and their families why there has been a 200 percent increase in the number of work permits granted for masons since January.
On Saturday this newspaper reported that work permits had been granted for 164 masons, 30 plumbers and 55 carpenters since September. Bermudians registered as unemployed in those categories stood at 33 masons, 14 carpenters and nine plumbers.
Mr Roban noted the increase for plumbers since January is over 100 percent with a 50 percent increase in the number of carpenters.
“A dramatic increase in the number of work permits in an industry plagued by unemployment presents clear evidence that OBA policies are helping everyone but Bermudians who need it most,” he said.
“The Minister needs to drop the arrogance, drop the rhetoric and explain to Bermudians what, if anything they will do to get Bermudians back to work.”
The Minister, in his initial remarks labelled Mr Roban's comments on the subject as “irresponsible, short-sighted and ill-informed”.
Said Sen Fahy: “Frankly his statements are irresponsible and appear to be designed to incite.”
On hearing that Mr Roban said Sen Fahy's assertion is patently false.
“The Minister appears to believe any opinion he doesn't agree with is designed to incite instead of bringing him and his government to face reality.”
The Shadow Minister concluded: “The reality of what the people see and are frustrated with their hypocrisy.”