Mr. Speaker, it is appropriate that I express my appreciation to the leader of the Opposition Hon. Andrew Holness and to my colleagues on this side for this privilege.
It is of note that this is my 21st year in parliament – always by election, never by appointment.
To my constituents who have kept the faith with me through good times and bad.
To my support team; Election Day volunteers, management team, supervisors, contributors and the many faithful supporters that have combined to form an invincible political team in this constituency on behalf of the Jamaica Labour Party, a party which was founded from the struggles of the working class.
And to my family who have made the sacrifices that have allowed me to remain active in political life. It is fair to say that without a supportive family political lives become untenable, a fact that we often overlook.
Mr. Speaker, a presentation in this section allows some flexibility in the delivery. However, I will focus on the areas for which in have primary responsibility. Infrastructure, Water, Housing, Transport; in all its facets and forms.
These are subject areas that if managed with appropriate policies and programs, have the capacity to establish a platform for sustainable growth, increased wealth and improved quality of life for all Jamaicans.
The challenge Mr, Speaker, is to find the right mix of policies, the legislative framework and the programs that will achieve growth in a timely manner without impairing our fiscal balance.
The need to maintain macroeconomic stability and a satisfactory fiscal balance is agreed.
Mr. Speaker, on details of the PNP’s Economic program we do differ and the member for NE Manchester has already detailed the critical areas of concern for Jamaicans.
Mr. Speaker, classical monetary policies with a focus on precipitous devaluation, cannot achieve the objectives of development and prosperity for our people. We have been there before and we have seen it elsewhere, IT WILL NOT WORK.
What is more likely is continued contraction and stagflation, as growth due to devaluation and inflation is not a sustainable economic policy. If the PNP government continues on this trajectory there could be significant social upheaval.
We must find policies to grow the real economy NOW…READ MORE