PNM has no plan to create jobs
Do you know that in the three hours that Imbert took to deliver the budget, he never spoke about what the Government’s plan was for the young people of this country?
We all know that unemployment is on the rise. We have gone from a 3% unemployment rate in 2015 to 5.1% in 2017.
We believe that figure will jump when the new numbers are released.
A much more worrying statistic however, is youth unemployment, which in 2017 stood at 11.35%.
This means, between 2015 and 2017, about 18,800 citizens between the ages of 20 to 34 have lost jobs.
The Government thinks that persons under the age of 34 are expendable in this country.
What makes youth unemployment an even bigger issue for us is its direct link to crime.
Youths are both the primary victims and perpetrators of crime.
It is a fact, reduced economic opportunities for the young either increases their vulnerability to be victims of crime, or send them to the other extreme, which may mean, joining a gang.
While the PNM pushed through the Anti-Gang Bill, which after four months has not led to even one arrest, it ignored the main reason people become gang members; which is the lack of opportunities and jobs.
Creating opportunities is key to solving crime.
Right here along the East West Corridor, the next UNC Government I will lead will transform from Morvant to Sangre Grande into a national hub of opportunities for our young people.
I already told the people of Tunapuna a few weeks ago, and I said it again during my budget response on Friday, our plan is to designate the east-west corridor as a special growth pole.
We will lower taxes for young entrepreneurs to create jobs in electronics, e-waste recycling and manufacturing. We can manufacture medical, office and school furniture.
Our entrepreneurs need support and not oppressive taxation. It is our small and medium size manufacturers who will create jobs, jump-start our economy and move Trinidad and Tobago forward.
We must support them, because they are the future.
It is time to talk about the future; our future as a nation.
We have no time for foolish distractions and attempts at race baiting which the PNM tries time and again.
We know that people care about how they are going to pay their mortgage or rent.
They care about how they are going to feed their children.
They care about what is going to happen next.
And in case anyone here has forgotten… in the last 3 years, over 50,000 people have lost their jobs.
It started when Arcelor Mittal closed operations because the government had a hands-off approach to the union negotiations with the company, causing it to shut down.
Just about 1000 jobs were lost on that day.
Then the government forced the shutdown of the Point Fortin highway. That was another 1000 jobs out the door.
Then, the government shutdown the TDC, and 300 workers are on the breadline.
This month alone, 5000 directly employed workers from Petrotrin and 1000 teachers from the Early Child Care Centers have been sent home.
The PNM stopped HDC projects all over the country and refused to renew public service employment contracts.
50,000 jobs gone in 3 years… 18,600 of them are young people.
That works out to 1 job lost every 45 minutes.
Before we end this meeting tonight… at least 3 more people will be out of work. By the time you get home 2 more will be wondering what will happen next and by the time you wake up in the morning the number will keep increasing.
Who will be next on the chopping block?
Will it be the workers at WASA or TSTT?
Will it be the workers on the PORT?
People losing their jobs and the increase in crime are directly linked. That is a fact.