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Jobs Scheme 'Is An Election Ploy'

Loretta Butler-Turner

Loretta Butler-Turner

By KHRISNA VIRGIL

Tribune Staff Reporter

kvirgil@tribunemedia.net

LONG Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner has slammed the government’s new apprenticeship programme for being an “election ploy” as she questioned how it was different from the heavily criticised 52-week job placement plan implemented under the Ingraham administration.

Mrs Butler-Turner, who served as State Minister of Social Development in the last Free National Movement (FNM) administration, said it was also evident the government was “absolutely devoid” of any original ideas.

She castigated the Christie administration over its lack of transparency, telling The Tribune that the government had yet to explain how the $20m allocated to a similar programme during the 2015 fiscal year was spent.

The former FNM Deputy Leader said the fact that the government has re-crafted this programme shows that the Ingraham administration’s jobs plan was a good initiative.

“I am very surprised that the PLP has finally decided to realise that what the FNM was doing was a good programme,” Mrs Butler-Turner said yesterday. “I don’t care how they re-package it. The reality is it was an apprenticeship programme that the Ministry of Labour and Social Development was doing in conjunction with the private sector and the Chamber of Commerce to ensure that people who were laid off during the recession of 2007 and 2008 were re-tooled and re-skilled.

“Of course we received a lot of criticism from the PLP about it, but clearly it demonstrates now that the Christie administration realises it was a good programme and, secondly, they are absolutely devoid of any original ideas in terms of jump starting our economy.

“So it comes as no surprise to me that the Prime Minister is trying to dress this up with a different name. What does surprise me however is the fact that there was $20m allocated in this current fiscal budget for such a programme and now there is another $22m. I’d like to ask the question of what happened to the $20m that was earmarked for this year?”

The MP said she also found it curious that the programme will be run from the Office of the Prime Minister.

“This is a ploy to try and get people to work at taxpayers’ expense, but of course this does nothing but to try and get a few thousand people to work so that they may be employed for a short period of time and the government has to foot the bill.

“What I find really curious is the fact that the programme is being run out of the Office of the Prime Minister and nothing that the Prime Minister has done thus far has come to fruition. So where do we go from here?

“Essentially the Prime Minister’s programmes have failed abysmally. If he was serious about getting these people involved in learning new skill sets they would have brought on board the private sector and those persons who can ensure that these individuals are going to be accredited at the end of the day.”

Perry Christie announced on Wednesday that the government will launch a $22m apprenticeship programme aimed to reduce youth unemployment.

The programme will be jointly managed by the Office of the Prime Minister and the National Training Agency, he said.

Mr Christie said that under the government’s new programme, people will be “paid to work and train in a very formal manner, with certification on completion of the apprenticeship period”.

Perhaps anticipating criticism, Mr Christie said the programme is unlike the 52-week jobs programme created by the former Ingraham administration in 2011 that was bashed by the PLP, then in opposition, as an attempt to sway votes ahead of the 2012 general election.

That programme paid and placed Bahamians who were unsuccessful at finding jobs in various positions in both the private and government sector. The employers then had the option to permanently hire the workers if they so desired after 52 weeks.

Mr Christie has called the programme “scandalous”, claiming it allowed participants to collect a pay cheque without showing up to work. The PLP cancelled the plan shortly after winning the last election.

In the 2015/2016 fiscal year, the government allocated $20 million to Urban Renewal to deal with youth unemployment. That programme was launched in conjunction with the Inter-American Development Bank.

There has not yet been a public accounting of the progress made under that programme.

Comments

sheeprunner12 4 years ago

Well it may be an election ploy,............... but if the hundreds of Long Islanders had an option of staying or leaving their island over the past two or three decades because of NO JOB or INVESTMENT opportunities,............... many of them would take even an "election ploy" right now

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arussell 4 years ago

Bahamians are not as stupid as these politicians think (I hope so) We all know this PLP government don't have any idea how to govern this country but if providing jobs even if its for 52 weeks or an election ploy is the best thing considering those 10,000 jobs went down in flames with Bahamar

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Well_mudda_take_sic 4 years ago

LBT has it wrong again....the $22 million "Jobs Scheme" is not an "election ploy": It's ELECTION FRAUD!" When the corrupt Christie-led PLP government takes the taxes it charges hard working honest Bahamians and their businesses (e.g. VAT, business license fees, etc.) and uses those same taxes to "buy votes" in the year before the next general election, it can only be described as ELECTION FRAUD or better still, PLAIN OUTRIGHT THEFT from the already excessively over-burdened Bahamian taxpayers. Every Bahamian taxpayer should make it a point to vote for the independent candidate who may be running in their constituency in the next general election or not vote at all, and to encourage their family members and employees in the private sector to do likewise.

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TalRussell 4 years ago

Comrades could it be feasible that this Loretta is nothing more than a ploy to deflect away from having to answer, if she was one the six MP's who at last night's red party's council meeting, did in fact read the riot act to her leader Minnis to either call a convention or they will head up da hill to the big pink house atop Mount Fitzwilliam, to demand of Her Majesty's colony's representative of the realm that she summon Minis's presence up the hill to cancel his credentials as the colony's official opposition leader?
Comrades aren't you equally as curious to have Loretta to confirm, exactly what was
"Pancake Face" Darron's input?

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sheeprunner12 4 years ago

Hubert Minnis said on Steve McKinney show yesterday that the reason why he has so many "political haters" is that he is a change agent who is determined to get rid of corruption in The Bahamas ........... and that the "haters" want to keep the status quo in his party, the government and the general society .......... who the cap fits, let them wear it ....... GO FIGGER

So let us begin to make a list of Minnis' "political haters" ........ Cash, Ole Dick, LBT, Chippie,

He also said that he will remain as FNM leader, because the "young people" (in the FNM) love him and will support him ......... can we make a list of these "young people"????????

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licks2 4 years ago

I was checking to see if the GG can move the Leader of the opposition. . .and I can't find that option anywhere. . .it could be done with the prime minister. . .that is the only person is mentioned who can be removed from the HOA. Can somebody help me and give me where I can find that information in our Constitution?

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TalRussell 4 years ago

Comrade Licks2 it becomes completely irrelevant compared to the act of the red MP's threats to use Her Majesty's Representative for the Colony, as their personal removal agent to execute the firing of their party's leader in the Honourable House of Assembly.

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sheeprunner12 4 years ago

Article 82 ........ paragraph 4

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licks2 3 years, 12 months ago

Thanks. . .I see. . .but I would not use that if I was LBT. . .because she or none of the six is the leader and council leader outside of the house!

The party will use that move as a "blind shy" to get rid of opponents. . .especially if that opponent don't have a strong party council support. . .enough to be insulated from party generated "pay back". Now I see the real "leaked information" about late nomination given to Bain by Senator Rolle. . .any of the six make that move and the nomination string is cut. . .making the power-base in the house lower by three. . .or two!! If the house faction does that dirty move. . .the party council may feel empowered to "retaliate" just as dirty and remain "fair" to the voting public!

If the party move back on them. . .only LBT and Lightbourne are likely to survive. The question in my mind now is if the FNM dismiss a sitting member in the house for misconduct. . .based on the party constitution, can that MP be considered a member of the official opposition. . .if the official opposition is the FNM party. . .and that member is no longer a member of the FNM party? Such a move will make the move moot. . .and the end of political careers!

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birdiestrachan 4 years ago

Butler Turner should know all about schemes. Her and her Papa invented it and they were the best at it.

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sheeprunner12 4 years ago

Hubert Minnis said on Steve McKinney show yesterday that the reason why he has so many "political haters" is that he is a change agent who is determined to get rid of corruption in The Bahamas ........... and that the "haters" want to keep the status quo in his party, the government and the general society .......... who the cap fits, let them wear it ....... GO FIGGER

So let us begin to make a list of Minnis' "political haters" ........ Cash, Ole Dick, LBT, Chippie,

He also said that he will remain as FNM leader, because the "young people" (in the FNM) love him and will support him ......... can we make a list of these "young people"????????

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Publius 4 years ago

Actually, this is the second $20 million allocation made in two consecutive budgets for the exact same program, only the program never happened for the first allocation, so where did that $20 million go? I did not expect these FNMs to ask that question up front of course, since that would require actually going into the budget and studying it prior to making a public statement.

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sheeprunner12 4 years ago

........... Loretta better find some crumbs for Long Island before the next election because the Long Island people are not satisfied listening to her run her mouth while they remain the Bahamian version of the "wretched of the earth" ........... her bark is not turning into jobs, investment and better infrastructure for her constituency right now .......... with one year to go

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TalRussell 4 years ago

Comrades can it be but a coincidence from day of one of being elected to the House of Assembly, that the two red MP's leading the charge against Minnis, were both elected from constituencies leaning pro UBP?
Why not put your true elect-ability, beyond the UBP electoral map to the test a constituency on your own merits?
Will the two red MP's, place on the table your evidence that it is the party's membership that doesn't want Minnis - and not just you two - and the other four red MP's lone wolves?
It's highly unlikely that the Governor General will jump in to help you play your UBP orchestrated politics.

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sheeprunner12 4 years ago

What about the ghetto-loving PLP MPs who claim to "put Bahamians first"?? .......... are they living up to the principles laid down by the PLP founders .... Long Islanders may I add???????

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SP 4 years ago

.................................................. BLT needs to STFU! ...........................................

When the FNM one man band little emperor Hubert Ingraham did the exact same thing, BLT was in full agreement!

How can she take the leg of ham out of her mouth now to complain when the PLP are following their lead?

YES, it is obviously an election ploy, however, BOTH CORRUPT PARTIES are equally guilty of using the Public Treasury to finance election campaigns.

Bahamas desperately need a change in governance as the PLP and FNM are without question corrupt to the core.

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