Leader of the Opposition Philip 'Brave' Davis. Photo: Terrel W. Carey Sr/Tribune Staff
By Farah Johnson
OPPOSITION Leader Philip "Brave" Davis said he does not believe the government will reduce the unemployment rate to six percent, accusing the prime minister of making the statement as a political strategy.
Mr Davis spoke a day after Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis predicted the national unemployment rate would drop to six percent or less by the end of 2021, at a heads of agreement signing for a $300m residential resort and marina in South Abaco.
Speaking to reporters while visiting union members on strike at WSC Headquarters on Friday, Mr Davis said Mr Minnis was “suffering from a lying virus".
“Who listens to the Prime Minister?” he asked. “Just think about what he has said, look at where unemployment is at this time, look at how the economies of Grand Bahama and Abaco have been sidelined and look at how the economy is today.
“Where in the world could you expect such a drastic reduction to unemployment to six percent within the next several months as he’s putting it?”
Insisting Mr Minnis’ assertions were inaccurate and unrealistic, he added: “Again he is starting to campaign and as he campaigns as I indicated earlier, he’s suffering from this virus, this virus called the lying virus and I think we don’t listen to him anymore.
“I don’t think people ever listen to what he is saying and that’s what we take it for – the grain of salt for what it is.”
Dr Minnis made the prediction on Thursday as he spoke to reporters about the response he received from Abaco and Grand Bahama residents following his recent announcements regarding projects for both islands.
“...Of course, you know the devastation we have experienced and any type of ventures or developments (that) will help to redevelop those areas that have been devastated and to create employment with what we see on the ground in both Abaco and Grand Bahama and what is happening in terms of rebuilding I think our unemployment rate would come down dramatically.
“No politicians like to make such statements, but I can make a bold statement and state that I think by the end of 2021, the unemployment rate, I’m certain will be around six percent if not less.”