HONOURABLE MINISTER OF FINANCE AND PLANNING OPENING STATEMENT
- The Budget Debate provides us with the opportunity to take stock of our performance over the previous fiscal year and to measure our progress in relation to the targets previously set and to assess the effectiveness of our management of the country’s finances.
- Let me begin this review by expressing a deep sense of gratitude to a number of people. I begin with:
- The Most Honourable Prime Minister for her continued confidence and support.
- The Speaker of this Honourable House for your guidance.
- Mr. Speaker, I continue to serve in this Honourable House at the will and pleasure of my constituents in East Central St Andrew. The fact that they have kept me as their Member of Parliament since they first elected me in 1994. I interpret this as an indication that I continue to serve their best interest. This job comes with its highs and its lows and at all times they are there for me and have never failed to give unreservedly of their love and support. I can hardly thank them enough.
- Mr. Speaker, I must commend my Cabinet colleagues for the understanding and support they demonstrate in managing their respective portfolios in a tight fiscal environment which affords them fewer resources than they would normally have expected.
- I must also place on record my appreciation for the support of my team in the Ministry especially my colleague, Minister Horace Dalley, who shares with me the responsibilities of an extremely demanding Ministry. Over the last year as the pressure mounted, he proved himself to be more than equal to the occasion.
- While assessments of our performance over the past fiscal year may differ, there is one area of consensus and that is the absolute indispensability of the resourceful team which is my privilege to lead. So let me also thank:
- The Financial Secretary and the staff of the Ministry for their unwavering and professional support;
- the Governor of the Bank of Jamaica; and,
- the Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica and their respective teams who continue to go above and beyond the call of duty in the execution of their functions;
- The staff in the other departments and agencies which underpin the work of the Ministry; in particular the Development Bank of Jamaica and the EXIM Bank;
- Board Members;
- In particular, I would also like to recognize the contribution of the members of my advisory group the Hon. Shirley Tyndall and Mr. Dennis Morrison;
- My personal staff for their patience and commitment, particularly in those difficult moments which come with the territory; and,
- Let me also use this opportunity to thank my family, my wife whose caring, advice, and love has enabled me to survive the daily rigors of public life, and my children for their unconditional support, always…READ MORE