Housing Minister Calls on Jamaicans to Pull Together


Minister of Water and Housing, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, has called on Jamaicans to be more optimistic and pull together, doing what is right to make the country a better place.
He was speaking at the 18th Annual District Convention of the Optimist International, which was held at the Gran Bahia Principe Clubs and Resorts, in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, recently.
“We need to forget some things of the past. The truth is that every country has a history that you don’t want to write off in any way or even put it behind you, but you will have to learn from the mistakes and put it behind you and move on to establish a better place,” the Minister said.
“What we need to look at is what we need to do now in the face of the challenges we have, and move on positively as a people,” Dr. Chang added.
He argued that Jamaica was now a part of the global crisis and, “what my ambition and my hope, as an individual and part of this Government, is that we can choose the mix of policies that will lay the foundation, when we come out of this, for sustainable economic growth to offer our kids and the people of Jamaica a better future.”
One major concern of the people, he noted, was that of job losses, but reminded that Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding has given clear instructions that the public sector staff would not be affected.
“First of all, with the economy as it is, any lay off now would cause extra trauma to the individuals and we feel strongly, that if we can avoid that, then we do so, hence the need to contain the salary increases,” the Minister said.
He emphasised that consideration was being given to the very poor in the society, as the Government was of the view that the very poor were the ones to be most affected during the economic crisis.
“The bottom line in terms of expenditure for us, is that we would like to protect the very poor in society, hence the PATH programme, the commitment to retain the access to health care without cost and access to High School Education without cost-sharing,” he said.
The Minister commended the work of members of Optimist International and congratulated them on their achievements over the years.
The Caribbean District Optimist International Convention was held under the theme: ‘Today’s Children – Tomorrow’s World’.

JIS Social