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Speech
Governor-General His Excellency The Most Honourable Sir Patrick Allen ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J

IN PARTNERSHIP TOWARDS
THE NEW PROSPEROUS JAMAICA

We gather here today, at the start of the new Parliamentary year, fully conscious of the fact that our individual and collective efforts play a crucial role in charting a course for a new Jamaica. Over the past three years, there has been great hope across the country and action towards prosperity. This is creating on the horizon a new Jamaica of which we all can be proud.

Although for some it is viewed as a mere ritual, the Throne Speech plays an important role in outlining the priorities of the Government for the new financial year, bringing together all arms of the state in partnership towards building the new and prosperous Jamaica.

It serves a purpose deep beyond tradition as it outlines:

  • The legislative agenda for the Parliament;
  • The policy agenda for the Executive and;
  • The general direction of the Government.

We started 2019 on a positive note following one of the most successful years economically and socially in the country’s modern history:

  • Employment in Jamaica has never been higher;
  • The period of economic growth has been sustained across fifteen quarters;
  • Significant infrastructure projects across the island that promise to enhance efficiency and productivity are under way;
  • Substantial progress has been made towards a safer and more secure Jamaica.

Honourable Members, crime and violence continue to be the greatest threat to the peace of the nation. Unity of purpose, com-mitment and determination from all Jamaicans and agencies of the state are required to overcome this challenge. It requires a shared vision, strategic planning, skill and dexterity in execution for us to achieve the peaceful and prosperous Jamaica that we all want. A new Jamaica has to be built on a foundation of social peace. This Administration has put in place tough and resolute measures to tackle crime. It must be noted that we had some success in 2018 with reductions in serious and violent crimes (Category 1) including:

  • 22% reduction in murders;
  • 22% reduction in shootings;
  • 15% reduction in robberies;
  • 12% reduction in rapes.

The Government will continue on its multi-dimensional path of increasing the safety and security of Jamaicans.

While applauding the successes, we can also acknowledge that challenges remain. These challenges must focus our minds and galvanise our collective efforts towards effective solutions that can bring forward the new Jamaica we all seek. This must lead to sobering thoughts, concrete actions and redoubling of our individual and collective efforts to build partnerships towards a prosperous Jamaica. We need to get it right to build our great nation, our new Jamaica.

A Jamaica where….

  • We respect each other;
  • We are peaceful and safe;
  • We have a society characterised by equity and justice; – We have access to opportunities to learn and improve;
  • We have prospects to earn through gainful employment; – We can all save, invest and prosper.

Honourable Members, in order to achieve this all branches of the Jamaican state, the whole Government – all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), must work seamlessly to achieve the desired outcomes, cognisant that their respective roles form a part of an entire solution.

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