Chairman of Progressives United (PU) Julian Fraser is promising a reformed Labour Department, free meals for students, as well as free healthcare, legal services, and transportation for the elderly if he is elected into office.
Fraser made the pledge on Friday during the official launch of his party in Sea Cows Bay.
Free student lunches
He said a Fraser-led government would build cafeterias and provide free meals for students.
“It’s the right thing to do,” he said. “They have no gymnasium, no cafeteria, no auditorium … have you seen this in the 21st century [Virgin Islands]?” Fraser asked.
The PU Chairman said he also plans to allocate $1 million per annum for research on chronic diseases which he said have claimed the lives of too many in the territory. He also said that under his reign, he would appoint a Junior Minister for Youth that would ensure that young locals have a say at the decision-making table.
Fraser said, if his party becomes the next government, he would make changes to the Labour Department in his first 100 days in office. These changes, he said, would ‘redirect’ the focus from facilitating work permits for outsiders to one that reduces unemployment in the territory for locals.
He explained that this would be done through training and job placement. “Every working-age, able-bodied Belonger is entitled to a job, ” Fraser maintained.
Penalties for discrimination
He further said discrimination in the workplace would be met with “harsh penalties”. The PU Chairman further vowed to focus on agriculture, having free healthcare, legal services, and transportation for the elderly in the territory.
The party unveiled four candidates for the upcoming general elections so far. They are Stephanie Brewley for the First Electoral District, former Virgin Islands Party legislator Dr Vincent Scatliffe for the Fourth Electoral District, former Customs officer Dirk Walters for the Fifth Electoral District, and Fraser who will seek re-election in District Three.
“At this time we don’t have all the seats covered, [but] we have [other candidates] and it’s been our practice that we don’t call any names,” he said to our news centre while remaining tight-lipped.
“It has a lot to do with when the House of Assembly dissolves,” he added. “I have always felt that based on what I have seen so far that we have a good chance [at winning the upcoming general election] and I still feel that way,” he added.
He said his party comprises experienced members who are no strangers to the political arena, and youth who will ‘bridge the generational gap’.
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