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Hon. Andrew Holness  Prime Minister of Jamaica • Leader of the Jamaica Labour Party • Member Of Parliament for West Central St.Andrew

The world has undoubtedly lost a great humanitarian icon in the person of Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations.
Mr Annan died this morning (Saturday, August 18). He was 80.

Mr Annan served with distinction during his two-term tenure from 1997 to 2006 and was the epitome of a dedicated and committed international civil servant.
He was the second person from Africa and the first black African to hold this high office, but he also stood out in several other ways as leader of the world body.

Amongst his most significant pursuits was his persistent call for Governments to be held accountable for the treatment of their people.
The former UN Secretary General was also an architect of the Millennium Development Goals which, for the first time, set global targets on issues such as poverty and child mortality. These and other humanitarian accomplishments earned him the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001.
The Government and people of Jamaica join me in extending sincerest condolences to his family and his homeland Ghana, in this time of deep mourning.

There is a need for stronger cooperation between residents of Hanover and the security forces to further reduce the murder rate in the parish.
Since the start of the year, the parish of Hanover has recorded an eleven percent decline in murders.
We have given instructions and directions to the security forces and they have been successful in apprehending some of the persons who are alleged or suspected of committing the crimes but that is not going to be enough, there has to be stronger cooperation between the citizens and police to give up the criminals.
This beautiful parish (Hanover) should not be contributing to the murder rate and it is within the power of the citizens to put an end to it. That is the truth. I have regular discussions with the Minister of National Security and with the Commissioner of police and we’re looking at the situation.
I believe that Hanover can become one of the fastest growing parishes in Jamaica by virtue of the potential it has in tourism. Let’s get this crime and violence thing under control. It is not the nature of the people of Hanover I know. Let’s work together, community and police to bring an end to the crime problem.
Sixty-three (63) housing units will be constructed in the parish in the coming months. It is the first time in approximately 25 years that the NHT will undertake a project of this kind in the parish. Hanover is deserving of the attention.

The National Housing Trust (NHT) continues to fulfil its mandate of building affordable housing for the people of Jamaica.
Yesterday we broke ground for Industry Cove Manor in Hanover. This is the first time in over 20 years that the NHT will be doing a housing scheme in Hanover. This development is a part of a 23,000 housing solution mandate.
A part of the long term development plan for the Parish, is to put in place the necessary solutions for those who will be coming to fill jobs in our expanding tourism sector.
We are not just building houses, we are designing total communities for the people of Jamaica.

"If you haven't confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence, you have won even before you have started. ” - Marcus Mosiah Garvey

Today we celebrate the birth and life of Marcus Garvey. His message of upliftment, black pride and liberation is as relevant today as when he walked the earth.

Jamaica’s debt is steadily decreasing as a result of increased payments being made by the Government.

This is according to Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who informed that the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service repaid $58 billion in debt last month.

Mr. Holness was addressing his quarterly press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister in St. Andrew on Wednesday (Aug. 15). He noted that the Government’s borrowing has also reduced, noting that “for the first time in a long time, we only needed to borrow back $10 billion, so the nature of Government’s debt diet is changing.” “Government financing is improving and if we continue on this trajectory, where we are repaying more of our debt than we need to borrow, we will hit our 60 per cent debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio (target) probably sooner than later; but we certainly will meet that target by fiscal year 2025/26,” he said.

The Prime Minister contended that “it’s a whole different ball game for public finances” when the debt-to-GDP ratio is at 60 per cent, in terms of options for financing public infrastructure, spending on social safety net and for improving social services.

Meanwhile, Mr. Holness said that inflation continues to be low with the latest statistics indicating that the rate is at 2.1 per cent. “Now that’s incredibly low and that’s in itself a good signal,” he noted.

He said that the economy remains strong despite the fluctuations in the value of the Jamaican dollar. “It’s a strong economy that can display…Bank of Jamaica reserves in excess of $3 billion. That’s the highest that our reserves have been in decades,” he said. - JIS

The planned redevelopment of Heroes Circle and surrounding areas will involve consultation with the residents of the area. Public involvement is crucial to bring the project to fruition.

We can’t develop without the people. It was never the intention of the Government to just go in, and bulldoze and dislocate and remove people. Things require a process. We are not at that point in the process just yet. We could have gone and developed the project internally bring it to a point where all the details have been resolved and then come to the public instead what we did was, while we are developing the project internally, we are informing the public.

There is an existing gap in how information is disseminated in the public domain which makes the Government appear devious in its intent to transform and develop the Heroes Circle area.

I say to Jamaica, action your prosperity, action your progress, associate with the projects that are improving the quality of your life. Look for the people who are saying to you, let us rebuild your community.

The Government is committed to the redevelopment of Heroes Circle and its environs and will ensure consultations with the residents take place.

We have put a plan with vision and all that some people are interested in doing is to tear it down. Action your prosperity, focus on rebuilding your community. We will not resile from that project, we’re coming to your community to discuss it with you, to engage you and to build a better Jamaica.

Always good to enjoy watching a game of cricket when the opportunity presents itself. Congratulations to the Jamaica Tallawahs who played the St. Lucia Stars tonight.

Government will establish a Crime Commission.

The Government is about to launch a Commission on how to treat with this epidemic of violence and the media will be a major stakeholder, on how the media, promotes, projects, produces and publicize content that could in any way support violence.

The government recently adopted several measures that have been effectively addressing the crime issue. The real challenge remains and that is the use of violence. Violence is at an epidemic proportion and that is mostly, from my perspective, a social issue, it has cultural roots but the only way to effectively deal with that, is through our media.
Content with violent overtones can’t be left without an editorial note to say this is not good for our society, or this is not the behaviour that we promote. Yes, you are a free press; and yes, you can put out whatever content you chose to but there is always the concern for the public good. What do you stand for as media; what are the standards that you maintain in your media house? And there is nothing wrong with you putting out, promoting or projecting the high standards that you maintain so that the public has balance and has enough information to place what they are with bombarded with every day in context.

No child should be discriminated against by virtue of their economic background. This is the policy of the government of Jamaica.

The Jamaica Labour Party believes in constructiveness, we believe in building things. When you travel the island, you will see what our administration has done over the past 2 years. The people of Jamaica will only move forward with the Jamaica Labour Party.

I recently met with The Nurses Association of Jamaica to discuss their current issues regarding working conditions. We spoke at length about some of the difficulties they face.

Minister Tufton and I sat with NAJ President Carmen L Johnson along with members of the Executive and student nurses to have a well needed conversation. They expressed their concerns and we listened. I assured the nurses that as a government we are working to continue to improve the conditions in our health system.

I also wish to congratulate Desmond Campbell Jr, LASCO/NAJ Nursing Student of the Year 2018-2019 and Denese Dacres-Reeves, LASCO/NAJ Nurse of the Year 2018-2019.
The medical field is one of great importance to this country and I want to express my sincerest gratitude to all who serve tirelessly and selflessly.

Tonight I am especially pleased to officially present Robert “Big Rob” Miller as the Jamaica Labour Party’s MP caretaker for the constituency of St. Catherine South Eastern. #MillerTime #JamaicaLabourParty #PartnershipForProsperity

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