Categorized | Editorial

Restoring trust, respect and decency to governance: a lesson!

Today we present just a few excerpts from Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller’s address to her nation on what was introduced as giving a report card marking her first year in office. The idea of this is to present a country which receives very poor rating from the IMF etc and one whose crime rate and other problems, economically and otherwise rank(ed) very high. WE will check to find out what the opposition had to say about this address, but we compare with our own state of affairs in Montserrat.

We have for a long time spoken to these very issues that the Prime Minister chose to be the hall marks of her address, as currently and since 2009 there have been the comparison of Montserrat to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI)

CARICOM News presented it under the title, her own words: Restoring trust, respect and decency to governance in Jamaica

She begins: My fellow Jamaicans: A year ago my administration assumed office, propelled by the hopes and aspirations of a nation that wanted a new type of governance characterized by humility, honesty, inclusiveness, respect and trust.

We came to office at a difficult time on the platform of people power, and I have never allowed that to escape my mind.  Our record over the year has not been perfect, but it has been persistent. We have restored trust; brought back respect and decency to governance while making important progress in some key areas.

Our mission of uplifting the Jamaican people and working toward economic independence was challenged during the past year by the slippage of the Jamaican dollar. The Net International Reserves also dipped, but not our reserve of courage, determination and resilience in the face of the international economic environment and domestic challenges.  Yet, our confidence in the Jamaican people has never been stronger.

Despite the challenges, last year we made concrete achievements. We successfully reduced the rate of murders, shootings, robberies and sexual offences. There was an 18% increase in the recovery of firearms and a 14% increase in the recovery of ammunition.

In relation to unemployment, the JEEP programme surpassed our original Phase One target of 5,000 persons and employed over 17,000 persons by July of last year.  Some six (6) billion dollars have been allocated to Phase Two of JEEP which is expected to employ over 40,000 persons. We have also partnered with the private sector to launch the Jamaica Employ Programme, aimed at creating more productive jobs for Jamaicans.

I congratulate and thank those employers who have heeded the call to employ at least one additional staff member, as part of this initiative and those who have expanded their businesses and created additional employment.

In terms of road rehabilitation we spent over 1.1 billion dollars repairing roads all over the country.  We also spent over 1.1 billion dollars on special projects including river training, repairing bridges and cleaning gullies.

In health, eight health centers were refurbished at a cost of 100 million dollars and four Centres of Excellence are being set-up — one in each Regional Health Authority. Our agreement with Cuba will see that country providing us with almost 500 additional health professionals. This includes doctors, nurses, medical technologists and nursing tutors.

In tourism, the January to November figures reveal that Jamaica earned nearly 1.8 billion US dollars, a three per cent increase over the previous year. Tourist arrivals registered a 2.3% increase with 1.7 million stop-over visitors.

My fellow Jamaicans:  I have always been firm that while we attempt to balance the books, we must also balance people’s lives. The most vulnerable must not be left behind on the track of economic development.

We reduced National Housing Trust interest rates last year so that persons earning under 10-thousand dollars per week could move toward owning their own homes.  The NHT also has provided home grants of 1.2 million dollars each to low-income contributors as well as to people with disabilities.

In collaboration with Food for the Poor and JEEP, the NHT launched First Step Homes, another initiative to help the most vulnerable own their houses and provide stability for their families.

On the labour front, the nation experienced one of the most stable periods in its industrial relations history. This is a credit to the maturity and understanding of our worker representatives, the unions and employers.  I wish to commend all who have been involved for putting the interest of Jamaica first.

In education, which is one of the foundations of economic development, eight thousand teachers from the early childhood to the secondary levels received professional development training last year.

What we hear here is uplifting and we applaud it with longing, as we wait to hear if there are dissenting voices as to the veracity of the lady Prime Minister’s claims. We would have loved to run a comparison of our Premier’s statement as presented in the Legislative Assembly in December ,and will do so in due course

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Today we present just a few excerpts from Jamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller’s address to her nation on what was introduced as giving a report card marking her first year in office. The idea of this is to present a country which receives very poor rating from the IMF etc and one whose crime rate and other problems, economically and otherwise rank(ed) very high. WE will check to find out what the opposition had to say about this address, but we compare with our own state of affairs in Montserrat.

We have for a long time spoken to these very issues that the Prime Minister chose to be the hall marks of her address, as currently and since 2009 there have been the comparison of Montserrat to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI)

CARICOM News presented it under the title, her own words: Restoring trust, respect and decency to governance in Jamaica

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She begins: My fellow Jamaicans: A year ago my administration assumed office, propelled by the hopes and aspirations of a nation that wanted a new type of governance characterized by humility, honesty, inclusiveness, respect and trust.

We came to office at a difficult time on the platform of people power, and I have never allowed that to escape my mind.  Our record over the year has not been perfect, but it has been persistent. We have restored trust; brought back respect and decency to governance while making important progress in some key areas.

Our mission of uplifting the Jamaican people and working toward economic independence was challenged during the past year by the slippage of the Jamaican dollar. The Net International Reserves also dipped, but not our reserve of courage, determination and resilience in the face of the international economic environment and domestic challenges.  Yet, our confidence in the Jamaican people has never been stronger.

Despite the challenges, last year we made concrete achievements. We successfully reduced the rate of murders, shootings, robberies and sexual offences. There was an 18% increase in the recovery of firearms and a 14% increase in the recovery of ammunition.

In relation to unemployment, the JEEP programme surpassed our original Phase One target of 5,000 persons and employed over 17,000 persons by July of last year.  Some six (6) billion dollars have been allocated to Phase Two of JEEP which is expected to employ over 40,000 persons. We have also partnered with the private sector to launch the Jamaica Employ Programme, aimed at creating more productive jobs for Jamaicans.

I congratulate and thank those employers who have heeded the call to employ at least one additional staff member, as part of this initiative and those who have expanded their businesses and created additional employment.

In terms of road rehabilitation we spent over 1.1 billion dollars repairing roads all over the country.  We also spent over 1.1 billion dollars on special projects including river training, repairing bridges and cleaning gullies.

In health, eight health centers were refurbished at a cost of 100 million dollars and four Centres of Excellence are being set-up — one in each Regional Health Authority. Our agreement with Cuba will see that country providing us with almost 500 additional health professionals. This includes doctors, nurses, medical technologists and nursing tutors.

In tourism, the January to November figures reveal that Jamaica earned nearly 1.8 billion US dollars, a three per cent increase over the previous year. Tourist arrivals registered a 2.3% increase with 1.7 million stop-over visitors.

My fellow Jamaicans:  I have always been firm that while we attempt to balance the books, we must also balance people’s lives. The most vulnerable must not be left behind on the track of economic development.

We reduced National Housing Trust interest rates last year so that persons earning under 10-thousand dollars per week could move toward owning their own homes.  The NHT also has provided home grants of 1.2 million dollars each to low-income contributors as well as to people with disabilities.

In collaboration with Food for the Poor and JEEP, the NHT launched First Step Homes, another initiative to help the most vulnerable own their houses and provide stability for their families.

On the labour front, the nation experienced one of the most stable periods in its industrial relations history. This is a credit to the maturity and understanding of our worker representatives, the unions and employers.  I wish to commend all who have been involved for putting the interest of Jamaica first.

In education, which is one of the foundations of economic development, eight thousand teachers from the early childhood to the secondary levels received professional development training last year.

What we hear here is uplifting and we applaud it with longing, as we wait to hear if there are dissenting voices as to the veracity of the lady Prime Minister’s claims. We would have loved to run a comparison of our Premier’s statement as presented in the Legislative Assembly in December ,and will do so in due course