PM: Where Is Your Heart?…Do You Have a Soul?
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis criticizes wealthy businesses that laid off staff in COVID19 pandemic
Prime Minister Hubert Minnis expressed disappointment in companies that laid off staff during the national lockdown as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
In a passionate speech at a COVID19 press conference, Dr. Minnis questioned their humanity.
“I am extremely disappointed when I see Bahamian companies laying off individuals who had worked with them 10-20 years, who had made them wealthy, who had given them opportunity to send their children to university, both here and abroad, who had given them the opportunity for their children to become professionals and leaders in this country, who have given them the opportunity to live in lavish homes, and have great lives; individuals, Bahamians who are from humble beginnings, but who have made sacrifices to make fellow Bahamians wealthy, and living good lives.
He continued, “And yet after all the sacrifices these Bahamians did, those who attained wealth have laid off such Bahamians.
“I ask you, are you humane? Where is your heart? Where is your compassion? Do you have a soul?” Dr. Minnis questioned.
In the emotional speech, he begged, “Please let’s be humane, and consider those individuals who have made great sacrifices to make you what you are today. But as soon as things get tough, you want to retain and hold on to all you’ve got and continue to take advantage of individuals.
“I plead and I ask all Bahamians today, let us not all be human beings, but let us be humane. I ask you where is your heart or do you have a heart?”
During the national lock-down, many businesses closed their doors, laying off thousands of Bahamians.
Many workers have since turned to the National Insurance Board, which has helped workers with financial assistance.
NIB said, as of Friday 17th, it processed over 14,600 unemployment claims and paid out approximately $7 million in unemployment benefits, while currently working on an additional 5,000 applications.
Dr. Minnis said, the Government is also contributing $30 million in direct grants to allow payment of salaries of up to 5,000 employees over the three-month period.