Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members, distinguished Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps, Members of International Organisations, Fellow Jamaicans.

I thank the Almighty, for his love and kindness towards me. I pray that he will continue to guide my path and bless our nation.

I pause at the beginning of this presentation to express my gratitude to my enabling team at home, my best friend and husband, Errald and the other members of my family including Marva.

I also wish to thank members of my Cabinet as well as the members of the Public Service, Ministries and Agencies.

I must specially thank my Councillors and the constituents of South West St. Andrew for allowing me to the privilege to serve. I am grateful for their loving support and understanding of the challenges that come with being the President of a Political Party, Member of Parliament and Head of Government.

Mr. Speaker, the children of Jamaica have been an enduring source of inspiration to me. They are our future leaders.

I am grateful to all Jamaicans, at home and abroad, who constantly pray for me and offer their encouragement and support.

Mr. Speaker,

I pause to pay tribute to some outstanding Jamaicans who have made their transition in the past year, among them – the Hon. Maurice Facey, OJ; Dr. the Hon. Olive Lewin, OJ, CD; Mr. Arthur H. Williams, OD; Mr. George Kerr, OD; Hon. James deRoux CD; and Mr. Tony Laing.

Permit me, Mr. Speaker to single-out another outstanding Jamaican, one from among us in this Parliament – former Senator, Minister of State, President of the Jamaica Teacher’s Association, school principal, Minister of the Moravian Church, and community activist. I speak of the late Noel Monteith.

We honour their work and contribution.

Mr. Speaker,

All of us in this House, if we are true representatives of the people, we must admit that there is one segment of our society present and visible in each of our constituencies who are hurting.

Mr. Speaker, I speak of the rural poor and the urban poor in our inner cities who exist on the fringe of the society and are in desperate need of special attention and our support. The strain on the economy and the pressure on the dollar caused by this persisting recession have had a direct impact on food and commodity prices.

To those members of the Jamaican family and as your Prime Minister, I say to you this afternoon “We know it is hard and we know it is difficult. You have not been forgotten”.

The Administration that I lead on your behalf is ensuring that an appropriate mix of policies and programmes is designed to bring greater security to your lives and ensure that your situation is improved.

As a nation we have come too far and worked too hard to see the steps towards progress reverse without abatement….READ MORE

Download Prime Minister’s 2013-14 Budget Presentation ‘JAMAICA: Going for Growth and Development – Unleashing Our Potential’

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