HAVING HIS MOMENT: Holness greets the large crowd on his big day at King's House.
Impeccably turned out in a strong suit and a vivid blue tie, Andrew Holness took the oath of office as Prime Minister of Jamaica for the second time in his political career on Thursday. Addressing the massive gathering on the lawns of King’s House, under a warm Kingston sun, Holness gave a robust and captivating inaugural speech, in which he outlined plans for his tenure. He spoke at length about “forging partnerships for prosperity,” growing the economy and job creation, but we were particularly intrigued by what he had to say about the next phase of building Brand Jamaica.
“Jamaica is geographically the centre of the Caribbean. My vision is to make Jamaica the centre of the Caribbean – a centre of wellness, surely, commerce, technology and innovation. A centre of the arts, culture and lifestyle regionally. It is all possible within our lifetime, despite any negatives,” the 39-year-old Government leader said. “Jamaica has a powerful and alluring brand amplifying our voice and influence to the world. We cannot be satisfied with things as they are. My dream is to fulfil your dream.”
In other words, Holness makes clear, his focus is sharply set on achieving the Vision 2030 ideal. “We must create a Jamaica where there is hope and opportunity; where we can encourage our children to dream big and be optimistic. We must create a Jamaica where our young people can find meaningful work – a Jamaica where you can live, work and raise your family.”
And speaking of family, for the new Prime Minister that’s absolutely paramount. “Family is the ultimate partnership, and that is why my government will focus resources on supporting family. By increasing the income tax threshold, we will restore the economic power of households to participate not only in growing our GDP, but more importantly in growing the general well-being of our society. Our government will ease your tax burden, but you must invest and spend wisely,” urged the father of sons Adam and Matthew. His wife, Juliet, will join him in Gordon House as MP for East Rural St. Andrew.
During a speech regularly interrupted by bursts of applause and cheers, Holness also vowed to provide support for struggling parents – and the average Jamaican looking to raise his standard of living. Above all, the PM believes, it’s time for more smart decision-making to improve family life. “We will provide support for parents in crisis, but you must respect and send your children to schools. Man must support their children, and parents must only have the children they can afford,” he emphasized. “Our government is committed to creating an environment in which families can flourish and form communities of social mobility.”
“We must create a Jamaica where there is hope and opportunity; where you can live, work and raise your family.”