My fellow Jamaicans, we are on the cusp of celebrating our 50th anniversary as an independent nation.
As we do so, we must recognize that while we have not yet achieved our full potential and our struggle continues, there is much which we can celebrate.
Shortly after the JLP took over the reins of government, the country joined the world in experiencing the worst global recession since the turn of the century. Countries much wealthier than Jamaica crumbled into deep and fractious social and fiscal unrest, experiencing massive job cuts in the public and private sectors. We feel for our Jamaican brothers and sisters who have lost their jobs both here and abroad, and whose families have been affected by the global crisis through loss of remittances.
We give God thanks, however, that social stability has been maintained and that so far we have been able to constrain the severity of job losses experienced elsewhere. We are also comforted that we are on the path to job creation and pledge to build on the groundwork we have laid towards establishing a framework for entrepreneurship and business to thrive and create robust employment. As an administration, we are also committed to strengthening our relationships with our unions and our public sector workers as together we build a better Jamaica.
Our ingenious and talented people, our rich and inviting culture, the rich resources of our land are recognized globally and, as a result, Jamaica enjoys a level of name recognition worldwide that few countries share. Over the past four (4) years, however, Jamaica has again demonstrated to the world a new aspect of our ingenuity and resilience. The road has been rough, but we as a Government took some tough decisions to balance the daily needs of our people with the need for long term correction of our economic conditions. Jamaica is now reaping the early signs of success.
This document sets out our priorities, some carried forward from our 2007 Manifesto, and others added further to our experience in government and changes in the global economy. We invite you to give us your comments and suggestions through our website at jamaicalabourparty.com. Although elections are too close for us to incorporate your views directly into this document, we would welcome the chance to consider them during our next term of office.
The Jamaica Labour Party and I need your support to help us continue to build a Better Jamaica. We believe that together we can truly make Jamaica the best place to live, work, do business and raise families. We have better plans, a better team and a better performance record. We offer you a Better Way Forward. Let us build Jamaica together.
May God continue to bless Jamaica Land We Love.
ANDREW M. HOLNESS