Elderly FNMs paid by youth unemployment program
A 68-year-old woman, a 58-year-woman and two other women in their early fifties are among hundreds of Free National Movement supporters being paid by the Minnis Administration’s National Job Creation and Skills Enhancement Programme.
The programme, better known as the 52-week job programme, was created to provide unemployed Bahamians between the ages of 19 and 30 with hands-on skills aimed at enhancing their ability to find gainful employment.
However, The Gallery obtained the 52-week job program payroll for the island of Eleuthera, which includes participants who are nearly twice the qualifying age.
In addition to the 68-year-old and 58-year-old women, two other participants are age 51 and 53, stealing job opportunities away from Eleuthera’s young and unemployed.
Minister of Public Service Brensil Rolle has boasted that the program is about youth employment and empowerment but it appears to be a scheme to put money in the pockets of FNM supporters who are nearing or past retirement age.
As Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis prepares for an early election, how many other FNM supporters are being paid by the jobs program while thousands of young Bahamians continue to search for jobs during the coronavirus pandemic?
The Bahamas’ unemployment rate jumped to nearly 40 percent during the pandemic. Many of them remain out of work but have yet to claim benefits from the National Insurance Board, which has been criticized for the slow payment of checks. Wouldn’t a program like this benefit those young people instead of political cronies who should be getting ready to retire?