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Ministry of Finance and the Public Service Opening Budget Presentation 2023 by The Minister of Finance and Public Service, the Hon. Dr. Nigel Clarke, MP


Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, DPhil, MP

Salutations & Expressions of Gratitude

Madam Speaker, I begin by thanking Almighty God, from whom all blessings flow. Great is Thy faithfulness. Great is Thy mercy and Thy loving kindness.

Madam Speaker, I could not have possibly made it through this year without the support of
family, friends and colleagues.

Two years ago, Madam Speaker, I delivered the budget presentation to an empty gallery, due to the restriction of COVID-19. Last year the gallery was half full to meet the COVID-19 protocols in place at the time. Madam Speaker, you know seh COVID nah keep, when you look up at the full gallery this afternoon.

Though we have to engage in healthy practices, thank God we have overcome the COVID-19
pandemic, Madam Speaker.

To those watching on social media, on cable, on television and to the diaspora overseas, thank
you for tuning in.

Madam Speaker, for the last two years I have not had the company of the Executive of the St. Andrew North Western constituency in the gallery. I am pleased beyond words Madam
Speaker that they are here today. I wish to thank them, along with the Councillors of the Constituency, for their steadfast support as we work as a team to deliver for the citizens of North West St Andrew.

Madam Speaker, I thank my parliamentary colleagues for the vim, vigour and vitality that you all bring to this House. Thanks for your support and encouragement. It is a privilege to work with a team of passionate advocates of Jamaica’s development.

Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister has been a leader for all seasons. Whether it is a parliamentary majority of 1 or a supermajority greater than 2/3 you lead with effortless, dramaless ease.

Madam Speaker, the Prime Minister of Jamaica has been an exemplary leader during this year of crisis. He has been courageous, empathetic and wise. I thank him for his leadership, counsel, advice and support. Under the most excruciatingly difficult and challenging circumstances, brought on by the pandemic, he has been unshakeable. Thank God we have Andrew Michael Holness as our prime minister.

Madam Speaker, I thank my Cabinet colleagues for their support and for a working environment, characterised by teamwork, cohesiveness and shared vision. We have had to make tough decisions this past year, and our deliberations have regularly gone into the night with Jamaica’s best interest as our North Star.

Madam Speaker, I also want to thank my colleague Minister in the MOFPS Minister Marsha Smith for her continued committed support. Jamaica benefits from a first-class team at the Ministry of Finance, and I thank them for their dedication and commitment. I thank the Financial Secretary Darlene Morrison and her team at the Ministry, as well as my advisory staff. I also thank the administrative and ancillary staff in my office and the security staff assigned to me who always go beyond the call of duty.

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