Senator Israel Bruce, the New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate for the South Central Windward constituency in the next general election, has slammed the recently rolled out government Promoting Youth Micro Enterprises Programme (PRYME).
Addressing a recent event held at Lauders to mark the official opening of the New Democratic Party’s South Central Windward constituency office, Bruce likened the PRYME – a grant programme – to a situation where a parent gives his offspring a vehicle, without allowing that child to manage all of the responsibilities that go with vehicle ownership.
Bruce was careful however in having his comment used as a blanket take on young people.
“I am not saying that the young people of this constituency or this country are reckless. I am saying that the government is reckless in the way it is going about dealing with the PRYME programme, because they are so hurry to undermine sound propositions they rush to PRYME. And when it is not PRYME, they giving you lime to plant in the dry season,” Bruce declared.
The Senator’s reference to PRYME came as he sought to explain his party’s plans with respect to employment creation.
He said earlier, “… We (NDP) would look, as part of our employment creation thrust and outlook, that we would create an employment and skills training bank for the young people of this constituency. And that we would comingle that or ensure that a national development bank, the constituency development fund and the Citizen By Investment funds are available to allow the young people of South Central Windward to move from one level to the other.”
These initiatives he cited as “allowing for responsible entrepreneurship, growth and development for the young people of this country and this society, in particular South Central Windward.”
As far as how he and his party proposed to bring “long term, quality employment” and positively impact development in the constituency, Bruce offered the following, among others: “upgrading either the Lauders or North Union playing field to a standard that caters to regional and possibly international sports; setting up small cottages at Pavement in Greiggs to allow ecotourism to thrive; constructing and equipping a clinic to serve the people of Chapmans and New Grounds, a clinic that would allow for the people of those areas to have access to proper health care, we’re talking jobs and health care,” Bruce promised.
Bruce remarked on the ad hoc method used to add to the government’s payroll.
“I have no difficulty with these young people being offered an assignment, but what I want to say to you my friends, is to look at the timing of all of this. They want to have for themselves, acquired, 4 ½ years of fun, joy and proper living and then give you 2 months before the elections, and then send you back to hardship for another 4 ½ years.”
As of Monday, June 22, a staff manned the Lauders-based Team Bruce 2020 Constituency Office.