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The Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) wants Prime Minister Kenny Anthony to give immediate attention to what it considers an “unemployment epidemic.”
A recent report issued by the Department of Statistics has indicated that the country’s unemployment rate has risen to 24.9 percent. The hierarchy of the LPM released a statement saying the true state of unemployment is inconsistent with the prime minister’s recent national address proclaiming the “worst is over.”
“With approximately 25,000 Saint Lucians out of a job, and the numbers still rising, it appears that very soon we may have a socioeconomic crisis of untold proportions on our hands. No country, especially one with a growing youthful population, can afford to have so many young people roaming its length and breadth with nothing to do,” according to an LPM statement.
The LPM believes government’s job creation programmes including namely the National Initiative to Create Employment, the Short Term Employment Programme and the Construction Stimulus Package “have failed so miserably” to address unemployment.
The political party sees it necessary for government to conduct “an honest assessment” of the effectiveness of these programmes.
“In this regard, it may not be a bad idea to upgrade our job-reporting capabilities to allow for the Department of Statistics to provide a transparent monthly report on how many jobs were created in the country. No nation that is serious about solving its crime problems and creating jobs should have to wait until the prime minister’s yearly budget address to ascertain whether or not it is moving in the right direction,” the LPM statement added.
In addition to that, government must prioritise issues of crime reduction and job creation, the LPM appealed.