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Mr. Speaker, I believe that my presence in this Honourable House is an expression of the confidence of my constituents in East Central St Andrew to represent their best interest.

For five successive elections they have returned me as their Member of Parliament. In the lonely moments that come with this job, they have always been there for me and have never failed to give unreservedly of their love and support. I thank them wholeheartedly for this support.

?As a member of the team, led by the Most Honourable Portia Simpson Miller, let me pay a well-deserved tribute for her leadership. I further want to thank her for her continued confidence in my ability to lead the Ministry of Finance and Planning at this critical time.

I must also place on record my appreciation for the support of my team in the ministry – my colleague, Minister Horace Dalley, who shares with me the responsibilities of an extremely demanding Ministry. He is to be commended for the leadership he brought to securing the agreement with the public sector unions in support of the economic programme. This agreement with the public sector unions was critical in meeting one of the prior action requirements towards securing an IMF agreement. “Nuff Respect is due to him”.

During the year under review, Dr. Wesley Hughes demitted office as Financial Secretary and moved on to take up responsibility as head of the PetroCaribe Fund. In thanking him for his service as Financial Secretary, we are confident that he will carry to his new post the capacity and integrity that has characterised his years of public service. He has been succeeded as Financial Secretary by Mr. Devon Rowe who brings to the position years of experience at the highest levels of the Public Sector. Already he has demonstrated his ability to make a positive impact as the administrative head of the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

I must again place on record my appreciation to the staff of the Ministry of Finance and Planning for their unwavering and professional support; and to my personal staff for their patience and commitment, particularly in those difficult moments which come with the territory.

I would also like to recognize the contribution of the staff in the departments and agencies which underpin the work of the Ministry. In particular, I would also like to recognize the contribution of the Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, the Financial Secretary and the Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) along with the members of my advisory group, the Hon. Shirley Tyndall, Mr. Dennis Morrison and Mr. Colin Bullock for their role in bringing the IMF negotiations to successful conclusion….Read More

Download the Finance Minister’s Budget 2013 Speech here