URBAN Renewal under the PLP has become nothing more than a scheme for turning trained police officers into delivery boys, opposition leader Dr Hubert Minnis charged yesterday.
Halfway through the PLP administration's 'First 100 Days' initiative, Dr Minnis said the programme was a far cry from the revolutionary crime solution pledged, and was just one of many key issues the governing party had broken its word on.
He said: "They are already failing to keep their most important promises to the Bahamian people - promises of not creating more unemployment but of preserving jobs; promises of introducing NHI within one year of return to office, not of advising that the promise is now being placed on a sliding date schedule; and promising Urban Renewal 2.0, not discontinuing the employment of Bahamians and reassigning trained policemen to perform social assistance tasks - buying and delivering food - instead of fighting crime in on our streets."
Dr Minnis said the PLP won the election assisted by a 'very well-funded glossy platform' which permitted them to begin an early assault on the last FNM government through print and television ads 'reeking with hyperbole and overstatement'.
"They said that they would be ready to govern on Day One. And they promised that they would make specific progress on a list of matters within 100 days of their election to office.
"They won the election; already theirs is a pyrrhic victory. They were not ready on Day One. Mr Christie failed, for a second time, to meet the constitutional requirement to appoint an Attorney General on the first day of his government's return to office.
"Now at the midpoint of the first 100 days, he has yet to appoint chairmen to head the boards of three important public corporations: the Bahamas Electricity Corporation, the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas and the Water and Sewerage Corporation.
"Mr Christie leads a minority government. That is to say that more voters voted against his party than in support of it. The least that he and his government should do now is to concentrate on delivering on their many promises to the Bahamian people."
He said the government knew about the state of the economy, the level of unemployment and the dimensions of government debt - having campaigned on just these issues.
"They claimed that they had a better way; that they could do more than the FNM were doing. On that basis they have been elected to office," he said.
"Now at the midpoint of their self-imposed 100 Days of Action we are being treated to excuses and broken promises. Broken promises this early in this administration do not bode well for this new government."
During the campaign, the PLP said it would introduce National Health Insurance within a year, but the new Minister of Health Dr Perry Gomez has now said there is no set date, Dr Minnis claimed.
He said unemployment levels had not changed since the election, the only substantial increase being those Urban Renewal workers the PLP was laying off.
"The PLP promised jobs for Bahamians, but they have chosen to discontinue the employment of 80 hard-working Bahamians from the Urban Renewal programme, the same programme they claimed was no longer functioning, a programme they claimed the FNM stopped.
"Still they were able to identify some 80 persons in that nonexistent programme to advise that their employment will not be continued past the end of this month June, 2012.
"Are these people not Bahamians? Are these not the people the PLP promised to believe in and to invest in? This is a cruel, cruel twisted outcome of the empty promises made to the Bahamian people."