Bossano Denial not True says GSD

Bossano Denial not True says GSD

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Bossano Denial not True says GSD

The GSD notes the interview which Minister Bossano gave to GBC on the Future Job Strategy.

Despite denials from Minister Bossano, there is no doubt that the GSLP/Liberals promised existing trainees, the unemployed and all school leavers, as well as, residents on casual and supply terms, some 1,100 people in all, training in Government owned companies with a guaranteed job in that Government owned company at the end of it. It is not possible for a Government in any part of the world to guarantee jobs in the private sector and there is no doubt in our mind, as indeed there is no doubt in the minds of the vast majority of people in the community that they were guaranteeing jobs in the public sector.

Daniel Feetham said: “During his interview, Mr Bossano said that this had been rebutted during the election campaign. That is simply not true and we challenge him to produce the evidence. I spent an hour during a televised debate with Gilbert Licudi on this issue and not once did he rebut the assertion that what was being guaranteed were jobs in the public sector. People who watched that debate may recall that I described the scheme as radical in the Soviet sense and that Elliot Phillips, the PDP spokesman, said it was a return to the days of SOS 24. The first time we had any inkling that the so called “guarantee” was a guarantee of a job in the private sector was during the first session of Parliament in January of this year”.

It is unfortunate that despite our calls for a clear statement on the issue, Mr Bossano did not state what will happen to all those trainees currently placed in the public sector who cannot be found permanent employment in the private sector. Instead, he said that he will personally decide what will happen to them when the time came. That is simply not good enough. The Government has to come out with a clear statement of its policy on the issue. Are these trainees to stay in perpetual training in the public sector on the minimum wage, will they be employed permanently in the public sector or will they be sacked? People need to be told clearly where they stand.

We also note that Mr Bossano continues to try and mislead people about the state of unemployment in December of last year. During the interview he alluded to the fact that unemployment figures were higher than the official figures. In the past he has said that unemployment in December of last year was closer to 1,100 because the figures were deliberately distorted to exclude VTS and other trainees.

This too is a cynical a manipulation of the concept of what constitutes unemployment. The definition of unemployed is internationally agreed and recommended by the International Labour Organisation, an agency of the United Nations, and as Mr Bossano well knows, people on Government supported training schemes are counted as being employed under that definition. It therefore follows that people on Government supported training schemes, such as the VTS scheme or trainees in the construction centre, were not unemployed.

The best indicators of whether there are more or less people in employment today is by reference to applications approved for unemployment benefit this year compared to the same period last year. There were 504 applications for unemployment benefit approved from January to September 2012, which are the latest figures available, compared to 457 for the same period last year. The fact is that unemployment has risen by over 10% this year despite the statement made by Mr Bossano in a Viewpoint debate with Daniel Feetham earlier in the year that unemployment would be wiped out by the end of the year.

Daniel Feetham said: “It is the pressure to deliver on such outlandish statements that is driving some of the most excessive and dangerous practices we have seen emanating from the ETB in decades”.

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