Mr Speaker,

None of us get to this House to make our contribution without the support, guidance or encouragement of others.

So, at the very outset, I would like to give thanks to those who have made it possible for me to be here and to participate once again in this Budget Debate.

First, much thanks and respect due to the people of East Central St Andrew, who have returned me as their Member of Parliament over the last twenty-five years.

I thank Councillors Nenna Wilson and Dennis Gordon, who represent the Hagley Park and Maxfield Park Divisions respectively, for their continued support as well as Waynette Strachan who leads our efforts in the Cassia Park Division. I am also indebted to all the members of the constituency executive and the divisional executives and the workers of the People’s National Party in East Central St Andrew for their sustained love and support.

I would also like to thank my colleagues and comrades in the People’s National Party – both those in the Parliament and those outside whose continuing guidance, support, encouragement and prayers have been of invaluable source of strength to me over the past years.

I would also particularly like to express my appreciation to my family. My wife, Sandra, is unable to be here today in person as she is overseas on business. Consequently, in addition to my son Mikael, who is always here with me, the family is represented by Luke, another son. Without the love and support of my entire family, the task I have taken on would be infinitely more difficult.

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