‘We can’t count?’

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Gov’t accused of failing to advocate interests of Solomon Islanders over foreigners’

BY GARY HATIGEVA

OPPORTUNITIES to access employment for a majority of Solomon Islanders is still an unsolved issue that now triggers major concerns as it is said to have forced an increase in the unemployment rate of the country.

Member of Parliament for Aoke/Langalanga, Matthew Wale referenced this when contributing to debates of the Appropriation Bill 2018.

Mr Wale said successive governments have highlighted the employment issue as a must deal with matter, but everytime it comes to the budget, emphasis on their part were merely sweet talks and paper policies with little or no actions on them.

He said the current government is not an exception to the reflection because not a single indicator can be spotted in its 2018 budget, to deal with the issue even though it was regarded one of their major priority areas under the recently launched Solomon Islands Democratic Coalition for Change Government (SIDCCG) Policy Statement including a thick document on its priority policies, strategic actions and outcomes.

He added that the government continued to fail on its part to advocate the interests of indigenous Solomon Islanders in ensuring they are given opportunities to take up jobs that they can do, but are being filled by foreigners.

He further added that the influx of foreign workers brought in to take up unskilled labour opportunities is also another failure from the government’s part, whom Wale suggested to have allowed the matter to hurt Solomon Islanders.

The outspoken Independent MP outlined that it is injustice to the people of this nation who continue to seek jobs, even to some of the simplest ones, that foreigners are being brought in to do shop keeping, security, dump truck driving and cashier.

“Does this mean that the Solomon Islands people can’t even count a single dollar?” Wale questioned.

He then strongly emphasised and reminded that in any case, Solomon Islanders should always be put first in all of government’s priority focuses and development agenda, especially on matters regarding employment opportunities that are either sought or created by the government.

However, Wale suggested that it is not the case with the current regime as it is evident in its budget and therefore added that it (Budget) will not impact the livelihoods of any ordinary Solomon Islander as they repeatedly emphasised.

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