The recently released employment statistics tell the “painful story of a difficult time” for Bermudians and also reflects how a “spend happy government” finds itself with very limited reserves, UBP MP Kim Swan said.
The statistics revealed that working population declined by 1,323 persons from 2010, and the decline in non-Bermudian workers [1,083 persons] was triple the employment loss among Bermudians.
Mr Swan said: “We in the United Bermuda Party welcome the release of the 2012 Labour Force Survey Executive Report by the Bermuda Department of Statistics. With current unemployment information – no matter how startling – proper forward planning can take place.
“These unemployment statistics released by the Department of Statistics paint a grim picture for the people and portrays the financial despair and hardship currently felt within far to many Bermudian families.
Mr Swan continued: “The unemployment trends (above) shows the enormous growth in the rate of unemployment among Bermudians. While we appreciate now having this information, it is important that we remind the public that the UBP often complained that unemployment information was not readily available in past years.
“Ironically, the chart shows us, when cross referenced against annual income and expenditure budgets, that when unemployment was escalating the government was still overspending extravagantly, as the PLP government ignored advice of the UBP Opposition, when we called for greater financial prudence, transparency through the proper tendering of projects and the need for balanced current account budgets. Hence, not saving for this ‘the rainy day’.
“The doubling of unemployment from 4% in 2009 to 8% in 2012 is huge and in real terms we are talking about thousands of Bermudians out of work and/or working far below the income threshold required to cope with the high cost of living in Bermuda.
“In the immediate time frame – with the absence of unemployment benefits in Bermuda – it is important for there to be proper consideration for those struggling in Bermuda,” continued Mr Swan.
“In addition to the assistance available through Government’s Department of Financial Assistance, we encourage Bermudians struggling to make ends meet to not be afraid to seek advice, help where required, work with your creditors until your circumstances improve and to reevaluate their spending habits to reflect present day earning capacity.
“These current statistics tell the painful story of a difficult time for us, the Bermudian people. It also reflects how a spend happy government today finds itself with very limited reserves and now with a huge debt burden has placed the people of Bermuda in the most vulnerable economic position in modern history,” concluded Mr Swan.
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