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Special Sitting of Parliament for Jamaica 60

Written by: CHRIS PATTERSON

Photo: Adrian Walker

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Friday (August 5) addressing the joint sitting of the Senate and the House of Representatives in commemoration of Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence, which will be celebrated on August 6.

Photo: Adrian Walker

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (second right), and Leader of the Opposition, Mark Golding (right), unveil a commemorative plaque during the joint sitting of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Friday (August 5) in commemoration of Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence. Observing (from left) are Clerk of the Houses, Valrie Curtis; and President of the Senate, Senator Tom Tavares-Finson.

Special Sitting of Parliament for Jamaica 60

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Story Highlights

  • Addressing a joint sitting of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Friday (August 5) in commemoration of Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence, Mr. Holness said these include free and fair elections, press freedom, the creation of institutions and legislation that protect the rights of citizens and strong bilateral cooperations.
  • “I know and understand that many of our citizens, at the moment, may not immediately feel or appreciate the benefit of sustainable fiscal management. However, the economic buffers that were established as a result of good fiscal management have enabled us to withstand the back-to-back global shocks caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
  • Specially invited guests included wife of the Governor-General, Her Excellency, the Most Hon. Lady Allen; Premier of Bermuda, E. David Burt; Minister in the Presidency of the Republic of Namibia, Christine Hoebes and other members of her delegation, members of the Diplomatic Corps and members of the Judiciary.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says in the 60th year of political independence, the country has much to be proud of and to celebrate.

Addressing a joint sitting of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Friday (August 5) in commemoration of Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of Independence, Mr. Holness said these include free and fair elections, press freedom, the creation of institutions and legislation that protect the rights of citizens and strong bilateral cooperations.

He said Jamaicans have excelled and continue to make invaluable contributions to nation-building at home and in the diaspora. “Brand Jamaica is strong globally, and for that we are thankful and proud,” he said.

Mr. Holness said the country is a respected voice on the issues of climate change and is the reference case for a country exemplifying sustainable fiscal management.

“While our performance in international affairs has been nothing short of exemplary, our record of performance at home has been mixed. We have achieved much; however, there is always a sense that we could have achieved much more,” he said.

While the country has achieved political independence, greater focus must be placed on achieving economic independence, he said.

“Our political class has demonstrated that it can come up with policies to address the social issues, that it can build the institutions, but we have just not seemed to have settled the economic policies. However, we are now on our journey to consolidate our economic independence; as I have said repeatedly, this is a priority for my administration.”

Mr. Holness said for decades political decisions have been made that are inconsistent with sound economic thinking, and this has had detrimental social and economic consequences.

“The most outstanding achievement of our nation in the last decade would be the political consensus around sustainable fiscal management and debt reduction,” he said.

He added that since 2010, several critical pieces of legislation have been passed to strengthen fiscal management.

“I know and understand that many of our citizens, at the moment, may not immediately feel or appreciate the benefit of sustainable fiscal management. However, the economic buffers that were established as a result of good fiscal management have enabled us to withstand the back-to-back global shocks caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

“Having worked so hard across political administrations to build this consensus on sustainable fiscal management, we must be strong and resolute to resist any temptation to reverse course. Instead, in our 60th year of political independence, we must be determined to complete our journey to full independence by achieving economic independence,” he added.

Meanwhile, he said the Government has been deliberate and measured in the activities to mark the 60th anniversary milestone, bearing in mind the prevailing global context.

“War and emerging geopolitical concerns that could be globally disruptive, inflation of food and fuel and signs of a global economic recession – simply, just the difficult economic times many Jamaican households are now experiencing locally as a result of these external shocks. We have balanced, therefore, celebrations with cerebration, merriment with meaningfulness and festivity with frugality,” he said.

Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Marisa Dalrymple Philibert; President of the Senate, Senator Tom Tavares-Finson; and Leader of the Opposition, Mark Golding, also addressed the special joint sitting.

Specially invited guests included wife of the Governor-General, Her Excellency, the Most Hon. Lady Allen; Premier of Bermuda, E. David Burt; Minister in the Presidency of the Republic of Namibia, Christine Hoebes and other members of her delegation, members of the Diplomatic Corps and members of the Judiciary.

As part of the 60th anniversary celebration, Mr. Holness and Mr. Golding unveiled a commemorative plaque during the proceedings.

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