Mr. Speaker, I thank the Almighty for enabling meto make my 21st Presentation in these debates.
I thank my faithful, dedicated and committed Constituency Executive and the people of East Kingston and Port Royal for their unrivalled support, guidance and encouragement.
I express sincere gratitude to my Councillors; Mrs. Loraine Dobson, who is now the veteran and recently elected Jacqueline Lewis. Both ladies have stood shoulder to shoulder with me in providing strong leadership and effective representation to our constituents.
I must thank and congratulate former Councillor Dr. Angela Brown Burke as she now joins us here in this Chamber in her own right as duly elected representative from South West St. Andrew.
I want to thank The Leader of the Opposition and Party Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips for his support and to congratulate him on his leadership.
Special appreciation to my Task Force members headed by Hugh Campbell and ably assisted by Chris Cargill. My personal staff deserves special mention.
Thanks also to you Mr. Speaker, the Clerk and the hard-working staff of this Parliament; as well all my parliamentary colleagues.
Mr. Speaker, with each budget cycle, we see more worrying signs that the prosperity agenda is leaving far too many of our people behind. We see this in the lack of consultation between Government and key stakeholders. We see this inthe treatment being meted out to our public servants (teachers, nurses, doctors, the police, our civil servants, consumers and workers across the length and breadth of this country. We see this also in the increase in prices and therefore hardship to our people especially in the energy sector. We see this in the lack of growth in our economy.
In fact, Mr. Speaker, the prosperity agenda is stifling the hopes and aspirations of our people, especially our young people.
This is not sustainable.
The PNP believes in a progressive, people-oriented agenda. That has been our proud legacy. It is a legacy that we will protect and in so doing keep our promise to our people who made many sacrifices to achieve economic stability and growth. Mr. Speaker, even our harshest critics have acknowledged that despite the challenges, our administration achieved economic stability, low inflation, increased employment and in general, thecreation of an environmentconducive to the growth of enterprises, large and small.
Mr. Speaker, mining and energy, represent more than 30 percent of our gross domestic product and generate thousands of quality jobs, directly and indirectly.
They have the greatest potential to advance the sustainable development of our country. They cannot be allowed to run on auto-pilot.We cannot afford for them to lose the momentum generated during our term in office.
Mr. Speaker, the performance of these two sectors under our administration, must serve as a template for the future. We are troubled that it is becoming increasingly evident that tardiness, unwillingness and diminished focus is leading to a loss of momentum within key sectors of the economy, including energy and mining.Download Full Speech