Jordan’s position on unemployment “shocking” – Jagdeo

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Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and Finance Minister Winston Jordan
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo                                      Finance Minister Winston Jordan

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has taken Finance Minister Winston Jordan to task over recent remarks on unemployment in Guyana.

Last week, the Finance Minister flagged Guyanese for crying foul over the lack of job opportunities when foreign nationals are coming here and getting jobs. He made this remark while at a press conference hosted by the PNCR – the largest party in the APNU fraction of the Coalition government.

Jordan had opined that Guyanese are demanding high wages hence jobs often go to those foreigners who are willing to accept lesser salaries.

“When you say they are no job, I’ve seen Venezuelans and I’ve seen Cubans, I’ve seen Brazilians, I’ve seen Nigerians and I’ve seen Haitians now getting jobs in Guyana – a country that supposedly don’t have jobs or you hear a lot of young people say, they ain’t got jobs. I’m not speaking lies, you have Haitian Carpenters, Brazilians carpenters and plumbers and so on,” Jordan had said last Friday.

However, this statement did not go down well with Jagdeo when he was asked about the Minister’s utterance at his weekly press conference on Wednesday.

According to the Opposition Leader, this position by a Senior Government Minister is especially shocking. “If this is the justification of this government, then I don’t know. It’s shocking for me personally because I thought our aim is to first of all to look out for our Guyanese people and to ensure that progressively, they get better paying jobs and more jobs – not to try to bring in people to undercut their salaries,” Jagdeo posited.

Recent figures from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has estimated youth unemployment in Guyana to be almost 23 percent. To further compound this, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has found that 80 percent of prosecuted crimes here are committed by youths between the ages of 19 and 29.