Creation of 50,000 jobs conservative, more can be achieved – PPP Presidential Candidate
Presidential Candidate of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Irfaan Ali believes the 50,000 jobs being promised to the Guyanese population should his party return to office is in fact a modest figure.
Ali hosted a press conference on Thursday; his first since being elected Presidential Candidate of the PPP/Civic.
He pointed out that the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Government has failed to deliver most of its manifesto promises to the Guyanese people in the more than four years the Administration has been in office.
According to Ali, Guyanese have to hold Government accountable for this failure, which has resulted in the hardships many citizens face, especially among the vulnerable groups such as women, the elderly and youths.
He reminded of Government’s promise to stimulate job creation, especially for youths, but instead they have caused the country to face 37,000 job losses in various economy-driven sectors. He went on to revealed that under the APNU/AFC, Guyana has slipped four positions in the employment rate for the 25-54 age group and seven positions for the age group 54 to 64 on the Global Human Capital Index. With regards to youths, he disclosed that the country declined nine positions in unemployment for the 15-24 age group.
To this end, Ali posited that unlike the coalition Administration, his party will not falter in its efforts to ensure that what is being promised to the populace is achieved.
Among the host of promises the PPP has mentioned that will be in its manifesto, is the creation of 50,000 new jobs and according to the party’s Presidential Candidate, even this figure is too conservative.
“There were some (criticisms) raised on the 50,000 job creation but let me say, this is a very, very conservative figure,” Ali stated.
He went on to outline some of the key sectors in which an Irfaan Ali-led PPP administration will provide an array of jobs for Guyanese. These include the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sector with the establishment of call centres and the provision of critical services in sectors such as education, health, financial and security.
Additionally, he mentioned eco-tourism, agriculture, mining, environmental services, forestry, and housing as key sectors that can also churn out many employment opportunities if the right investments are made.
“Let me give you an example; if you create 10,000 house lots every year, because our target is 50,000, and let’s say you have an occupancy of only 20 per cent, the average figure nationally now is 30 per cent, so you have 1500 persons building and if a bare minimum of five persons are employed on each houses, then that this 7500 jobs created there and that is on housing alone… So when you reserve the tax measures that have been inhibitive to various sectors, you would see the further strengthening and expansion of those sectors, thus creating jobs,” he added.
Furthermore, Ali noted that the impending oil and gas sector too can also be a great source of job creation within the areas of training, shore-based facilitates, gas and energy development, enlightened local content and machine and engineering.
“So if you reorient the budgetary spending that is there now, you will be able to create all those jobs we’ve lost as a result of wasteful spending and mis-prioritised spending,” he added.
The PPP presidential candidate further stressed that “So this 50,000 is very conservative; then with the reopening of sugar and the linkages sugar had in other segment of the economy, you’re talking about 11,000 thousand jobs easily… so I know when we examined this at the committee level and when we are costing it, 50,000 is a very, very conservative estimate. It’s the bare minimum and I’m sure that we can achieve beyond this.”