Brave Davis’ untimely death comments called’disturbing’
Minister of Labour and Social Development Dion Foulkes yesterday responded to claims made by Progressive Liberal Party(PLP)Deputy Leader Philip Brave Davis thatthe failure of the Free National Movement(FNM)administration to create sufficient jobs to deal with the country’s unemployment problem led to the untimely deaths of Bahamians.
Foulkes said he found it”disturbing”and insensitive that Davis would turn suicide and death into a political platform.
He added that according to statistics, suicides have been recorded as decreasing across The Bahamas from 2009 to 2010, by more than 30 percent.
“Suicide is a complex matter which should be discussed and responded to with great care and sensitivity, as well as compassion and proactive responses by various institutions and individuals, including those in public office,”he said.
“I therefore found it disturbing and a lack of compassion and sensitivity that Mr. Phillip’Brave’Davis, the deputy leader of the Progressive Liberal Party would seek to politicize the tragedy of suicide and related issues of mental health and depression.
“I wish to note that suicides in The Bahamas are down by 33 percent from 2009 to 2010, from 12 to eight, respectively.”
Davis spoke specifically about deaths due to generators he said occurred because individuals were not able to find jobs and were consequently not able to pay their electricity bills, thus having to use generators. There have been few of these deaths reported by police in recent years, however.
He also made a reference to individuals also having to”trade in their lives”because of their financial situation.
Addressing a PLP rally in Golden Gates, Davis told the story of a young man who he said walked into a bank recently and turned in his house and car keys and credit card because he could not afford to meet payments.
“We may not have very many persons taking similar actions, but the reality is that many persons in our society are still struggling as a result of this visionless government. I mean this young man simply turned in their(his and his wife’s)possessions, but some people are turning in their lives,”he said.
However, Foulkes contended the government did what it could do to cushion the blow of the global economic downturn.
“At home, the government responded with a comprehensive and intensive array of measures to respond to the global financial crisis and its impact on individuals, families and communities,”he said.
“These included a dramatic increase in social assistance, the National Retraining Programme, and the landmark Unemployment Benefit Programme as well as through other measures to stimulate the economy and job,”said Foulkes.