Budget 2015: Jobs – Jabs, Jabs

There is growing unemployment especially among the youth in Grenada.

I am forced to  asks two questions: What is the future of our people and of our country? Grenada has experienced the fastest rise in youth unemployment and, unlike adult unemployment, this number creates more social problems.

Till now “Jobs, Jobs” slogan in our poor economy means more massive, popular and cheap part time jobs like debushing or road fixing. NDC invented cheap seasonal agriculture jobs in Canada, their only Know How in Social policy.

For high paid jobs large investments are necessary and our qualified labour is immigrating to the Continent. Who will work in Grenada and contribute to NIS?

Two-thirds of the advanced economies and half of emerging and developing markets are experiencing a slowdown in employment.  The rate of unemployed is in opposite proportion to qualification of national labour.

Highly qualified workers have more chances. For example Germany now has the lowest rate of joblessness  about 6 percent, the UK 9 percent and  Spain 20 percent. In Grenada we do not have reliable data, but we see our streets full with lazy and often drunk youth in the day time.

Grenada’s average low level of salary does not support normal and decent lifestyles. On the contrary it creates special contingent of people for whom a couple of bottles of beer per day is enough to be happy. Jabs, Jabs are good example of them. They understand the motto – Be Extraordinary their way.

The Jab Jab means “double devil”. Jab represents the ghost of a slave who met his death by falling into a vat of boiling molasses in a sugar factory. After emancipation, gangs of recently liberated slaves, covered in black molasses took to the streets to celebrate their freedom and offend polite society, which they blamed for decades of suffering.

Let’s look closely to this trend and possible scenario of our present social and investment policy. While the government’s goals of reducing the fiscal deficit and cutting government debts are understandable, these measures will have damaging repercussions to our social stability. It is potentially catastrophic.

To tackle the jobs crisis we need greater investments in infrastructure projects to generate jobs, easier access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses, more education, apprenticeships and training for young people.

Chicken or egg first? This vicious circle can be broken only by making markets work for jobs. However efforts to reduce public debt and deficits have disproportionately and counter-productively focused on labour market and social measures such as cutting wages and pensions.

There is good sense in encouraging people to train for jobs and to broaden their skills, but without investments they will never find jobs in Grenada. More than 40 percent of the long-term unemployed say they’ve received a lot of help from family and friends. But only 1 in 10 reports getting much help from churches or community groups.

This vacuum will be filled. The jobless will find other employment opportunities. There are many extremist organisations that are recruiting youths to join terrorists groups.

Global jobs recession will lead to civil unrest unless solutions are found. Finding a decent job and keeping it will be a struggle for hundreds of millions of ordinary people as they feel the impacts of financial turmoil, a slowing global economy, and austerity measures imposed by cash-strapped governments. In coming years  it could be the massed ranks of the unemployed that undo politicians.

Budget 2015 debates is a right time to understand the NNP realistic plan, or lack of it, of our jobless and social disproportions.

In the Throne Speech 2014 we heard again good intentions to invest in the productive sectors for growth and job creation; and investing in human development. We have heard it before but have never seen it. We see more and more unemployed Jabs Jabs and default of the government. What investments are they talking about?  New debts?

That the government believes it is necessary to force donor agencies to charity simply beggars belief. Agencies are already stretched to workable limits. And it will crush hope and destroy confidence among the very people who should be getting encouragement.

We have reasons to expect that the proposed new National Plan 2030 will be one more fiction of politicians like the recent NDC’s Changes, Mobilisation Plan, Strategic Tourism and Energy that were pure waste of public money for propaganda shows.

Politicians have proved their incapability to develop the nation and in fact led the country to bankruptcy. Both major political parties for decades have created the country of 100,000 Jabs Jabs. Here they really succeeded.

What social structure and World Order are we encouraging and financing now? We hope to hear the answer in Grenada Budget 2015.

Taxpayers Association of Grenada.

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