By Lloyd Noel
I saw a report of a statement by a Government official — that employment has been on the increase, and the unemployment figure is now below 25%.
If that report is accurate then our economic conditions are on the upward movement — and our people can feel comfortable.
No details were given in the report about where — nor in what type of jobs those increases were taking place. But a few days after the report was published, gangs of the roads maintenance workers were out in their numbers — on the Western main road doing debushing.
Those workers were off the job on the roads since early December last year, and no alternative employment had been provided until last week.
How long this very needed resumption will be continued — only time will tell, but there is no doubt that the workers were very eager to be back on the job, and earning some needy wages in these trying times.
If these jobs on the roads are also being provided islandwide, then quite a number of workers will be earning some wages; but as is very well-known, those jobs are only for a couple of weeks at a time and no more until the bushes grow back.
So with no further information about where the employment has risen as claimed — the figures quoted cannot be accurate and the situation remains as desperate as ever.
None of the investors – that were rumoured to be coming to the Island to start-up businesses — have so far arrived or done anything showing their plans or intentions to be coming anytime soon.
And the plans and discussions — surrounding the Referendum and the constitutional changes — that were so very topical a few months ago, have all seemed to have taken back seats — and the waiting game continues, especially for those unemployed who voted for the Government.
The Referendum issue — which was intended to obtain a two-thirds majority vote, to enable the Controllers to break-away from the UK. and the common-wealth, and join which-ever other foreign country they wanted to — that plan which was designed to accommodate the people’s Republic of China, so that the Chinese could move in and set up business — especially in Agriculture where there are some Estates just lying fallow and thousands of such workers unemployed.
Although hundreds of Grenadian Passports were obtained by Chinese nationals — we have not seen any of them coming to the islands to do anything.
Instead of coming to the Spice Isles, hundreds of them used the passports to move into Canada, where they were all huddled into one district by the Canadian Goverment.
Whatever might have happened to them thereafter — I have no idea; but our people in Grenada who wanted to travel to Canada thereafter — we all had to apply for visas at the embassy in Trinidad to be able to do so.
And as far as the plans for those investors coming to Grenada — to provide the thousands of jobs for our unemployed — those plans are languishing in the Controllers minds and un-able to become a reality.
So where those thousands of jobs have been provided — to reduce the un-employment figure to just below 25% — only those in control have that answer and they are keeping it to themselves.
All the many plans and grandiose ideas that were put out by The Controllers — to enable them to win all the fifteen Parliamentary seats for the second time — those have all remained just that after two years.
As for the Referendum — to get the two-thirds majority votes to amend the Independence Constitution — the committee appointed to make the recommendations have done so sometime ago — but for whatever the reasons for the delay, nothing else have been said to John Public, so the waiting game on that issue is also continuing.
From the fore-going it can be seen, that a whole lot of issues of national concerns — have been on hold for some considerable time now and the people just have to wait.
It is against that back-ground, the news from Government information service — that the unemployment figure has dropped to just about 25% — that news bulletin, is grossly mis-leading.
From all the foregoing therefore — it can be seen that the situation is not what it is rumored to be by the Controllers — and a whole lot of positive actions and decisions are urgently needed, to change the course of where we are heading and how the Controllers plan on getting us there.
And that level of leadership decisions cannot be delayed very much longer — because a whole lot of our people are under heavy pressure, and the numbers are increasing with every passing day.
Increasing Taxes and Rates and Duties are not the answer at this stage — because those under pressure will not be able to make ends meet — and their conditions will get worse rather than any better.
So the ball is clearly in the Controllers Court to be played by them — when they decide to play it, and how it is played at any given time — such decisions will determine where we moving to and how soon.