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An NDP billboard in Villa.
An NDP billboard in Villa.
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The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) are “real jackasses” for persisting in saying that 41% of the nation’s youth are unemployed, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves says.

The NDP has erected a billboard in Villa saying, “41% OF OUR YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE NO JOB”.

“WE DESERVE A BETTER FUTURE,” the billboard further says, adding that the NDP has a plan to create jobs.

In 2021, UNICEF said that 41% of youth and 19% of adults in St. Vincent and the Grenadines were unemployed.

In 2018, the International Monetary Fund, citing government data, said unemployment among persons aged 15 and 24 was 46%.

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However, Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves, who also has ministerial responsibilities for statistics, said the IMF should not have been given the figure because that was not the case.

Speaking about the billboard on WE FM on Sunday, the prime dismissed the figure as a “total lie”.

“They continue to say this thing. These are real jackasses,” he said of the NDP.

“And jackasses may bray but foolish people not listening,” the prime minister said.

Ralph Gonsalves 2
Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves speaking at a press conference in Kingstown on Monday, May 27, 2024.

He said the population is about 105,000 people and an estimated labour force of about 54,000 people.

“But the NIS roll alone showing you that you have paid people make contributions day by day, month by month, week by week, 44,000,” he said, referring to the National Insurance Services, the social security agency.

“And there are lots of people who are working, particularly domestics, farmers, fisherfolk, construction workers, workers in transport — minibus conductors and the like who don’t pay NIS.”

Gonsalves said an estimated 20% of the people who are working do not pay NIS.

“So you have another 7-8,000 people, which takes you to the number who would actually be working of over 50,000 people — 51-52,000 people. Where it come 40%? That is just complete idiocy; complete utter idiocy,” he said.

“I mean, you just have to look at the NIS numbers as the proxy and to show that that’s a dastardly lie. That’s why when Camilo said in the house that the draft of the last report which they have on unemployment, the survey which was done, was just over 10% unemployment.”

The prime minister noted that to be considered as unemployed, one has to be between 16 and 60, “without work, wanting to work, looking for work but can’t find work.

“…  unemployment can’t be 40%. If unemployment is 40% — I mean, that’s why I use the word that that’s a billboard put up by jackasses, people who have absolutely no respect for anything honest. Foolish. idiotic.”

The NDP has also erected a billboard outside its Murray Road headquarters outlining its plans for the economy.

It also erected a billboard in Gibson Corner, saying that there were 52 homicides in the country last year – three less than the actual figure.

However, opposition lawmaker, Central Kingstown MP St. Clair Leacock, commenting on the NIS on Wednesday, said “a lot of the things are false”.

Leacock, who is an NDP vice president, said that between 5,000 and 6,000 of the people registered with the NIS are “once-per-year contributors: people work on road work.

“They don’t work for more than two weeks a year but their name is on the books as being part of the 40-something-thousand people who are NIS contributors,” he said.

13 replies on “‘That’s a billboard put up by jackasses’ — PM Gonsalves ”

  1. Gonsalves is a real politician. No matter what you say, no matter what you do. He will always lie his way out.

  2. I can see why Carlos James can threaten to pull out the nipple rings of Fitz Bramble, he takes the examples of his leader. Imagine Ralph Gonsalves – the “Prime Minister”, the Chief Servant of the nation is disrespecting other parliamentarians by the calling them jack@$$e$. If this is what the NDP is, then why are international agencies quoting the following “In 2021, UNICEF said that 41% of youth and 19% of adults in St. Vincent and the Grenadines were unemployed and in 2018, the International Monetary Fund, citing government data, said unemployment among persons aged 15 and 24 was 46%.””

    There are a number of person who contribute to the NIS who do not even live in SVG, then there are the casual workers, road worker, construction workers etc., who pay when the get work. I would agree with one thing he said I quote ““And jackasses may bray but foolish people not listening,” the prime minister said.” He can fool the fools however the wise people of the nation are listening to the NDP.

  3. Esmie Pringle says:

    Well it’s coming from the horse’s mouth lots of domestic workers, farmers etc. who don’t pay NIS.We can therefore conclude that a large swath of our working age labor force are either unemployed or underemployed and unskilled. What does this say about these unemployed people? They’re unable to pay NIS because they don’t have a guaranteed source of income. It’s not negligence by these people. It’s the government’s negligence..mind you ,this is an administration that thinks white collar jobs are the ultimate in nation building. Hope the opposition looks at this disaster created by this administration and put way more emphasis on nation building skilled trades and blue collar jobs. We’re still the poorest country in the region for that reason. That says everything

  4. Take warning says:

    J, I agree with you . and they wondering why the children behave in school the way they do. and why so many voilene . In my. opinion from head to toe are the same, very disrespectful and ignorant. where are all of the pastors and church goers on this issue ? I am calling all of them out. Come out and condemn this . No role models for the children to emulate . I. am crying and praying for the young children, .

  5. Dat one dey get under yo skin as if ah u ah d killer. U ah d killer? Stop yo nonsense, D killers dem must b swear u defending dem. Frydey nah kill no body. D way u behaving as if ah frydey ah d criminal while d criminal(s) at ease, no harsh rebuke from u like how u behaving toward frydey.

    What happen like u know d killers? Or r u afraid of dem? Or r dey contracted? U shudda bin intimidating d killers wid yo ministirial ministry and nah try to intimidate frydey becuz dis time around ye nah gwine wuk, too much at stake.

  6. Ok Mr. PM, based on your estimated 50,000 working people out of 54,000 labour force, that means we have a greater than 90% employment rate in SVG? With a figure closer to 52,000 workers that puts the employment rate at closer to 96%, so the overall unemployment rate is only 4%. Who are the Jack@$$es, the NDP? Or all ah we?

  7. Haha, I guess it takes a bigger jackass to know one but if is one thing I am certain Dr Friday character is unmatched. […] He never [accused of] rape […]

  8. Ralph and I call you that because I have lost all respect for you as a simple human being. You would say anything once it makes you look good the hell to the country throw them under the bus tie them by the hand and drag them, once your reputation good right? Shameful

  9. Take warning says:

    In my opinion, isnt it better to be called a ‘jackas’. than to be called an accused rapist? de shameless bunch, go hide ar yo face

  10. Anointed one says:

    wow!!! to hear a right honourable PM speak like that about another right honourable is dispicable.

  11. Anointed one says:

    How does the PM expect other country PM to respect his borrowing money when he doesn’t respect his fellow brother?

Comments closed.