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Mr. Speaker, I had a full and diverse life before representational politics.

Throughout my entire life, Mr. Speaker, I have never sought the limelight and have always been content with working behind the scenes, supporting and promoting others. But then the call came …..to serve Jamaica in a different capacity. A capacity that provides the opportunity to maximize positive change but that requires certain personal sacrifices. With the tremendous support of my family, friends, and colleagues I have answered that call and I stand before you today and pledge again to serve Jamaica with diligence and sincerity.


Mr. Speaker, Jamaica is in transition. A new Jamaica is emerging. Jamaica, Mr. Speaker, is moving in the right direction.

Having found ourselves one of the most indebted countries in the world only a few years ago, on the brink of collapse, Jamaica is emerging as a shining example to the world of what can be achieved when there is unity of purpose.

At the end of this financial year, by March 31, Jamaica’s Debt to GDP ratio will fall to 96%, which will be the lowest level of debt in nearly two decades, and the first time below 100% over that period.

This is a national achievement of which all Jamaicans can be proud.

The road here has not been easy and all segments of the Jamaican society have contributed to this success. Mr Speaker may I ask my colleagues in this House to recognize the role played by:

• Public sector unions and staff • The financial institutions and investing community • The private sector • The Economic Policy Oversight Committee, the Social Partnership, and Civil

Society, more broadly • The media • The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Bank of Jamaica, Planning

Institute of Jamaica • Ministries, Departments and Agencies across the Government of Jamaica

(GOJ) • And Mr Speaker, both the Government and the Opposition over the six year

period 2013 to 2019.

Mr. Speaker, Jamaica is the world’s only example in recent times of a small country that has reduced its public debt by the equivalent of half its gross domestic product in a short timeframe without handouts, without debt relief or without bilateral debt support from “friends” or partners.

We found ourselves completely on our own and had no choice but to rescue ourselves with our own resources.

June 12, 2021

Page 34


GREEN PAPER – National Policy for Senior Citizens

Research Agenda

As with all social policy issues there is a need for routine research that are targeted in critical areas.

The Council through its location as a body interacting with MDA should be aware of population and

socio-economic trends. It needs a framework to begin to explore which ones are impactful on the

elderly. This information can then be used to develop a research agenda in conjunction with the

academia and the other education partners. For example a reduction in the birth rate signals that there

will be less family support for the elderly in the long term. The Council can begin to explore how this

will impact the elderly and what it signals for support services and goods. The research agenda is a

major strategy for effective advocacy and should be an integral part of the Council’s management


11.1.2 Advocacy

The other major role of the Council is advocacy for senior citizens through effective information,

education and communication systems, and accessible avenues for contact and sharing of opinions,

obtaining redress, and advancing respect for the contribution of seniors. Given the human rights and

gender equity pillars of the policy, efforts will be strengthened to ensure the protection of these

dimensions through appropriate policies and actions. Research cited in the Situation Analysis points

to issues of access to public goods and services; employment opportunities; family roles and respon-

sibilities; retirement planning and preparation; vulnerability at various levels, including susceptibility

to crime and abuse, inter alia. Advocacy will involve enabling the voice of older persons to be heard

through representation of critical issues, particularly on a national scale. Matters to do with image of

the elderly, combatting of ageism and other forms of discrimination and other equity challenges can

be addressed through active education campaigns and effective collaboration. Advocacy will also

involve various levels of facilitation of older citizens in engaging with the society and economy, and

will include collaboration across state and non-state entities. This role will provide the monitoring of

the guiding principles and ethos upon which the National Policy is founded.

11.2 Key Functional Roles

11.2.1 Programme Managers

While it may not be necessary for each thematic area to have an exclusive programme manager, there

will be focus on aligning the programme of action and monitoring responsibilities. The programme

managers are expected to adopt the broad strategies in the policy, identify and collaborate with

implementing bodies including MDAs and other partners and build social partnership. Programme

managers are located within the NCSC and will have close working relationships with key personnel

in the various MDAs. They will leverage available resources for their respective functional areas as

assigned by executive management, encourage and monitor relevant research, manage the programs

of the NCSC to prevent overlap and waste of resources, as well as form bonds with the MDAs, IDPs

and large NGOs that will provide support to the programme.

These programme managers, through solid working relationships with the Parish Officers, will com-

municate the policy and help to operationalize the strategies and suggests programs and activities.

The Programme Managers will need an understanding of the priorities as recommended by the Parish

Officers (see below) and should be able to analyse demographic data in support of any suggested

programmes or initiatives.

June 12, 2021

Page 5

4 Office of the Cabinet Revised March 2018



PERMANENT SECRETARY: Mrs. Audrey Sewell, CD SUBJECTS (GENERAL) Defence National Identification System (NIDS)

National Awards Registration of Births and Deaths Social Partnership State Protocol Vernamfield Aerotropolis Development Project JISCO-Gansu International Industrial Park and Special Economic Zone Project SUBJECTS (ELECTORAL MATTERS) Electoral Matters (Electoral Commission of Jamaica)

DEPARTMENTS (GENERAL) Access to Information Unit Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Culture, Health, Arts, Sports & Education (CHASE) Human Employment and Resource Training/HEART Trust/NTA Jamaica Defence Force (JDF)2

Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) National Housing Trust (NHT) Public Broadcasting Corporation of Jamaica (PBCJ) Registrar General’s Department and Island Records Office

Integrity Commission3

2 Administrative oversight rests with the Ministry of National Security 3 Commission of Parliament – for administrative purposes only

June 12, 2021

Page 17


How was the social consensus engineered, if not through the formation of the Social Partnership,

first signed during the Golding administration, which itself benefited from the kernel called

ACORN set up informally in the mid-1990’s.

What was the impact on the consensus that later emerged of then-Prime Minister Andrew

Holness in December 2011 telling a mass meeting of 20,000 in Mandeville Square, in full glare of

all media, that “bitter medicine” would come

Once the new Prime Minister Simpson Miller got up to speed with the realities she confronted,

the wicket had been laid. The then-Opposition, by virtue of Prime Minister’s Holness’s honesty

and frankness, had already committed itself.

And the Leader of the Opposition suggests that our Prime Minister was a late and reluctant

participant in the consensus

I am reminded of the advice my grandmother used to give me from the Book of James in the Bible,

chapter 4 and verse 10: “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and HE shall lift you up.” This

is advice we can all do well to follow.

Prime Minister Holness was at the start of the consensus even while many others elements on

the opposing side were still in denial.

The then Opposition may have opposed certain details of the consensus – just as the current

Opposition is opposing our tax reductions.

These tax reductions occur in the context of an IMF programme and the IMF staff publicly

welcomed every one of the tax cuts in their press release of March 8, and there is every

expectation of Board endorsement.

Does the fact that the Opposition has presented weak arguments against these tax cuts, which

shows a basic lack of understanding of economic realities, mean that they are against the debt

reduction consensus I would certainly hope not.

I would NEVER seek to deny the contribution of the Opposition nor the contribution of the last

administration of which they were a part. I believe the Prime Minister uttered similar sentiments

yesterday. Your efforts and results with fiscal consolidation, which we have continued, are

noteworthy particularly given Jamaica’s history. You received the highly respected Gleaner Award

for that. I applauded it at the time and do so now.

However, to claim paternity of every reform is simply untrue.

June 12, 2021

Page 43





Port Division 6 1473

Protective Services Unit 6 1474

Private Places of Safety 6 1475

Private Children’s Home 6 1476

Police Control 6 1477

Quality Assurance Unit 6 1478

Regional Guidance and Counselling Unit 6 1479

Regional Office 6 1480

Registry 6 1481

Rehabilitation Services Branch 6 1482

Research and Development Division 6 1483

Research, Planning and Legal Services (formerly Policy Strategy and Plan 6 1484

Revenue Appeals Division 6 1485

Revenue Protection Division 6 1486

Rural Physical Planning 6 1487

Region 3 – Ministry of labour (St Anns Bay) 6 1488

Region 5 – Ministry of Labour (Mandeville) 6 1489

Region 4 – Ministry Of Labour (Mo Bay) 6 1490

Resident Magistrate 6 1491

School Personnel and Administration Services 6 1492

Secretariat for Hearing and Appeals Tribunal 6 1493

Secretariat, Pan American Health Organisation 6 1494

Social and Community Development 6 1495

Social Partnership Council Secretariat 6 1496

Special Projects Unit 6 1497

Squatter Management Branch 6 1498

Standards and Monitoring Unit 6 1499

Statutory Audit and Special Investigation Division 6 1500

Strategic Policy, Planning and Monitoring Division 6 1501

Strategic Reform 6 1502

Survey Department 6 1503

Serious and Organised Crime Division 6 1504

Security Services Portfolio 6 1505

Seat Risk Support 6 1506

Sustainable Environment and Tourism Projects 6 1507

June 12, 2021