Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has stressed the Government’s commitment to transforming the economy, by putting Jamaicans, particularly the most vulnerable, at the centre of its policies and programmes.
Making her contribution to the 2013/14 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 30, Mrs. Simpson Miller cited several examples, such as the provision of affordable housing solutions by the National Housing Trust (NHT).
She mentioned a recipient of the Longville housing project in Clarendon, who on receiving his keys to an affordable housing unit through the NHT, raised his hands and his eyes to the sky and said: “Bye-bye rent; bye-bye landlord.”
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The Prime Minister also referred to the elderly farmer, who collected the title for his farm land, in Duff House, St. Elizabeth on his 86th birthday.
“He can now rest assured that his family’s legacy is now secure – and he has the documents to prove it,” she stated.
She noted also, the handing over of homes under the Inner City Renewal Programme.
“Transformation is seen in the gleam of pride in the eyes of the homeowners at Caribbean Palm in my constituency of South West St. Andrew,” she said.
Mrs. Simpson Miller also highlighted the provision of individual housing lots under the Housing Development and Community Regularization Programme for hundreds of sugar workers and their families in 30 communities across the island. She stressed that generations of these workers had lived in deplorable barrack conditions.
“One of the most rewarding experiences in my entire political life has been breaking ground for the construction of sugar barracks in Hampton Court in St. Thomas, in Springfield in Clarendon and the others,” she said.
Mrs. Simpson Miller also noted the recent ground breaking at Up Park Camp in Kingston to begin the process of providing better living facilities for the men and women of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).
This she said was to ensure “that the men and women of the JDF, who faithfully serve our nation, can live in dignity”.
The Prime Minister also cited the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) as another area where the government continues to facilitate transformation.
Turning to the Universal Access Fund, Mrs. Simpson Miller said, “with every single swipe of children’s fingers on the screens of the tablets provided to schools exposing them to the latest tools of communication that translates to new knowledge and brighter futures”.
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She also emphasised the role the Government is playing in ensuring proper health care for every child.
“Transformation occurs when every ill child is healed through love, care and advanced medical science. Breaking ground at the Bustamante Hospital for Children to expand health facilities is one more step towards transforming our children’s lives,” Mrs. Simpson Miller stated.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter