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G-G urges country to lift productivity

G-G urges country  to lift productivity

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Deep turmoil and uncertainty is the forecast for the world’s economy, but a Vincentian society bent on higher productivity can succeed.{{more}}

This was the message given by Governor-General Sir Frederick Ballantyne as he delivered the Throne Speech last Monday, December 1, at the House of Assembly in Kingstown.

“The existing and looming challenges demand of all of us that we lift our productivity and production of marketable goods and services. We have the discipline, resolve, and clarity of ideas to succeed,” Sir Frederick said.

As he outlined the government’s priorities for the New Year, Sir Frederick said that government intends to use a “twin fiscal stimulus” to address the difficulties.

Tax cuts for businesses and individuals will be twinned with government’s “targeted expenditure, especially on physical infrastructure, education, health, rural and urban development, and poverty reduction.”

Emphasis will continue to be placed on developmental work, including the construction of the US$200 million Argyle International Airport, the ‘no income housing’ project, the completion of the new National Library, the construction of several police stations, the building of a Modern Diagnostic Medical Complex in Georgetown, along with the further development of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

The incorporation of the School of Nursing into the St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, the commencement of the National Tourism Authority in January 2009, and the Roads and Buildings and General Services Authority in July will all form part of a plan to do governmental and administrative reform.

This process of reform is expected to “improve sharply the efficiency and effectiveness of governance”, the Governor-General also announced.

He also signaled government’s intention to continue to push for establishment of an economic union within the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and also the deepening of relations between the OECS and Trinidad and Tobago.

“The prospect of a political union beckons, and it has the whole-hearted support of my government,” he said.

“I reiterate my government’s optimism about our future, despite the enormous challenges ahead. Let us get on together with the tasks at hand,” he Governor-General said. (KJ)