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
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
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.