Wednesday 28th September, 2005

STRATEGY FOR 2006-2008
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Mr. Speaker, Trinidad and Tobago is at a most critical juncture in its history. We are on a steady advance towards a transformed, diversified economy - one that will produce self-sustaining growth and increasing welfare for all the population. On the other hand, we are currently facing some acute social challenges, which if not successfully addressed could undermine the gains and the potential that are ours to exploit.

This Government recognizes and accepts its responsibility to the people of Trinidad and Tobago. We will continue to build a strong economy by adhering to a responsible macroeconomic agenda. We will maintain prudent fiscal and monetary policies and a strong balance of payments position and increase real GDP growth with the aim of full employment with quality, sustainable jobs.

Our social strategy will continue to build a cohesive and caring society in which all citizens can participate in the generation and distribution of the country's wealth. It will strike a balance between providing immediate and direct relief from the hardships that people face on a day-to-day basis with measures to eliminate the social and economic conditions that produce inequities in the first place.

We will accelerate our efforts at social intervention, particularly in the areas of crime prevention, social services delivery and elimination of poverty. Our approach will emphasise the family and family values; greater community involvement in designing and delivering solutions; and the forging of meaningful alliances with the private sector, religious groups, NGO's and with local Government. Mr. Speaker, we will work and support all those who are genuinely interested in building this great country of ours.

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