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Jamaican PM Holness sworn in as Head of Government

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#Kingston, Jamaica – JIS News – September 8, 2020 – Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, was on Monday (September 7), sworn in as head of the Government for the third time.

Photo by JIS News

This follows the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) victory in the General Election held on Thursday (September 3) to form the Government for a second consecutive term.

Mr. Holness was sworn in by Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen during a ceremony at King’s House, where he took and subscribed to the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office.

In his address, the newly appointed Prime Minister thanked the people of Jamaica, who, from 2016, have “entrusted your hopes and dreams to us”.

“With industry, enterprise and partnership, we set about fulfilling your dreams and keeping your hope alive,” he said, adding that there is still much more work to be done.

Mr. Holness said he is “humbled and honoured that the people of Jamaica have seen it fit to give me an opportunity to once more be the chief steward of their affairs”.

From JIS News

“Thank you for your vote and support, and I commit once again to use every fibre of my being and all the energy of my spirit for the advancement, fulfilment and prosperity of the people of Jamaica,” he said.

The Prime Minister contended that the Government has been given a mandate to move with speed and alacrity “in fulfilling the great destiny of this country”, vowing that “we will not squander it”.

“We will use it wisely to build public trust, continue the partnerships for prosperity, to be inclusive and caring for the poor and vulnerable, to be prospecting and enterprising in fulfilling the dreams and ambitions of the youth and make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families, do business and retire in paradise,” he pledged.

Mr. Holness also outlined several initiatives the newly formed Government will be undertaking to aid in building a stronger society and economy as the country combats the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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In the meantime, the Governor-General noted that the ceremony signals “the start of a new phase in the life of our nation” and formally congratulated Mr. Holness, “whom his Parliamentary colleagues and the people of Jamaica have chosen once again for this high office”.

“It could be said of him that one good term deserves another. It could also be said that a higher authority than exists on the human plane has divinely ordained that he should be placed where he is today,” he said.

“Our country is in good hands and our democracy works for us,” the Governor-General said.

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Caribbean News

Barbados bestows Humanitarian Award on PAHO director Dr. Carissa Etienne 

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, November 25, 2022 – The newest recipient of Barbados’ Humanitarian Award is outgoing Pan American Health Organization Director, Dr Carissa Etienne.  The government of Barbados grants this award to frontline workers who were instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Etienne expressed her gratitude for the recognition, noting, however, that she was more grateful for the opportunity to have served on the island. She also praised Prime Minister, Mia Mottley for her diligence in leading the country and regional involvement during the pandemic.

Humanitarian medals were also given to Frontline workers who risked their own safety to ensure the needs of the public were met. Those who held supporting roles on the frontline received humanitarian lapel pins, and those who made generous donations were given humanitarian plaques.

Dr. Etienne highlighted one major lesson from the pandemic, “we are only safe when the weakest among us is also safe”.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – “We have a humanitarian concern of course but we can only absorb so much” was how Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service in The Bahamas addressed the issue of the UN constantly nudging Caribbean countries about the deportation of migrants and recommending that it not be done.

He was speaking Thursday November 24 with Cheryl and Zhavargo on First Edition which airs on RTC FM.

While acknowledging that the UN offices likely ‘have to do what they do’ Minister Mitchell  explained that the current irregular migrants trying to get into the Bahamas did not fit the bill of ‘refugees’ as defined by the UN.

“We have a treaty obligation that says that if people have a fear of persecution in their home country that we have an obligation to take them in as asylum seekers. The people who come through on these boats from the south of us are not asylum seekers. They are afraid of poverty and that’s a difficult issue but in a legal sense we’re not obligated to embrace people on that basis.”

He cited a study that had found, on any given day there were around 7,000 illegal migrants in The Bahamas trying to get to the US maintaining that his chain of islands had to take a stand on the issue.  The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that  TCI was in an identical situation, citing also the the cultural effects of irregular migration.

“There is a cleavage which has developed in our own society over this; people are very concerned that we could lose our identity if we do not get on top of it.”

Earlier this year Arlington “new sheriff in town” Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks and Caicos had described statements calling on surrounding countries to do more to assist persons fleeing Haiti as “reckless and misguided.”

“Haiti has a population of 11.6 million people. How could any small developing state like the Turks and Caicos Islands assist that number of people or even the smallest fraction of them? We have a population of some 47,000 persons, and our health care, education and other social systems remain fragile and could never withstand an influx of refugees. This would be a risk to our very own livelihood,” he had said.

He was interviewed in the same show on Thursday prior to Mitchell and expressed a similar determination to crack down on illegal migration.

“I want to stress this. If we catch anyone harbouring illegals, it could be my mommy, she’s going up. We cannot tolerate this. We’re catching the sloops so my Haitian brothers and sisters should stress to them don’t waste your money we’re sending you back.”

Turks and Caicos, this year passed a law, doubling fines and prison times for individuals harbouring illegal migrants.

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Caribbean News

JAMAICA: Government Revenues Soar

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#Kingston, November 25, 2022 – There has been a jump in Government revenue collection, with tax revenues for the first six months of the fiscal year exceeding budget by $35 billion.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, said that the out-turn is as a result of higher-than-expected economic performance.

“The first quarter growth came out at 5.7 per cent… and all categories of revenue are over budget. Revenues from income and profits are up by nearly 13 per cent or $10 billion,” Dr. Clarke said.

In addition, he noted that revenues from production and consumption are up by seven per cent or $7 billion and revenues from international trade are up by 15 per cent or $18 billion. Revenues from motor-vehicle licences for the first six months of this year are 16 per cent higher than budgeted.

Dr. Clarke was speaking in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (November 22) where the First Supplementary Estimates for 2022/23 were approved.

The approval reflects a revised expenditure of $971 billion, from the previously approved budget of $912 billion for the financial year.

Minister Clarke said the First Supplementary Estimates come within the context of positive overperformance of the economy.

“As a result of this revenue overperformance… we are able to come to this Parliament six months after and put a Budget that proposes $60 billion in new expenditure,” Dr. Clarke said.

The largest component of the supplementary budget is the allocation for public-sector salaries and wages in keeping with the restructuring of compensation.

“We are allocating $16 billion there and there is another $2 billion to the Ministry of Health and Wellness and then about $3 billion for statutory deductions, making a total of $21 billion,” the Minister said.

 

Contact: Latonya Linton

Release: JIS

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