Harris, who is said to be the Prime Ministerial candidate for Team Unity, in the upcoming general elections, stated that the New Year is a time for new beginnings and also it is a time when goals are set for families.
According to the PLP leader, it is a time when goals are set for ourselves and a time when “we” think about the previous year and the victories and defeats achieved together as a people.
“Let me congratulate all on their success in 2014. I commend for example our outstanding performances in various exams, in sport and entertainment and I salute all the participants in the 2014 Carnival activities.”
He said, “2014 is gone. Now is the time to think of the future which 2015 beckons. It is a time for change. A time for new beginnings. What will 2015 mean for you and your family? What will 2015 mean for our great nation? What will 2015 mean for our children? Will 2015 brings more of the same or change for the better.”
The former government minister now opposition member, indicated that when it comes to 2015, citizens would ask the question about how you can make your lives better and also who you can trust to make your lives better.
“I know you question whether people hear your cries. I know you question whether your leaders understand what you and your families are going through to make it. I know you question whether there will be a difference in 2015. Most people trust themselves which is why they wake up every day and in their own way break down the very system that oppresses them every day.’
He continued, by stating that in 2015, help is coming.
“You will not have to carry the burden alone. You are not alone. No man is an island. NO man stands alone. We are our brother’s and sister’s keeper. You must know that in 2015, we are better together. You must know that in 2015, there are those of us that wake up every day with your hopes and dreams in our hearts and minds. You must know that in 2015, there is light on the horizon. You must know that in 2015, rebuilding will take place in unity. You must know that in 2015, the old partisan bickering has no place in our dialogue.
“You must know that in 2015, you the people will have the cake and not just the crumb. You must know that in 2015 it will be a new beginning for you and your families but also a new beginning in St. Kitts and Nevis. This new beginning will put the people first. This new beginning will put the people on a road to prosperity. This new beginning will bring change for the better and not more of the same. This new beginning will bring more peaceful resolutions of our conflicts and less resort to violent crime. This new beginning treats everyone respectfully, fairly and decently. This new beginning will bring jobs and economic growth,” Harris said.
Further, Harris said that, “I say Happy New Year to you because I believe change for the better is coming. I am convinced that 2015 can be a great year for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. I believe in the spirit of our people. I believe in the resilience of our people. I believe in the hope and the dreams of our people. I don’t have to tell you about the conditions which you face every day. However, what I will say is that in 2015 beneficial change is coming.”
In setting out the “new beginnings” for 2015 Harris, noted that there will be growth in stay over tourist which will result in hotels being filled year round and not be served as dorms for students.
This new beginning means we need to do more with and for our farmers and fishers so that they operate successful businesses and contribute to food security, foreign exchange, savings and earnings. They too deserve a new beginning.
“This new beginning will reduce mortgages: this new beginning will introduce a Rent Assessment Board to ensure fairness in rent adjustments and in the relations between landlords and tenants. This new beginning will relieve our young people of the high burden of student loans that are making our graduates feel like they will never prosper and which cause many to stay abroad rather than return home. This new beginning will bring jobs and opportunity for our young people now.”
Harris further said that “This new beginning will provide them with the best health care; this new beginning will provide the best education system and give our children the head start with preschool education which will be free of charge. This new beginning will provide them with beautiful sporting facilities.”
He claimed that this “new beginning will support them in making a living from the practice of their gifts and talents in culture, entertainment, sports and music.”
On that back drop, he said that the new beginning will make a portion of the “SIDF” resources available to build local enterprises, by giving them the start and support needed to expand and grow.
This new beginning, according to Harris was signaled in the Nevis Accord, which means that “we must immediately get on the road to cheaper cost of energy, the commercialization of geothermal in Nevis, and wind farms in St. Kitts and Nevis and solar developments are part of the big picture of affordable energy under Team Unity”.
Also on the new beginning agenda is the restoring the integrity of the Citizenship by Investment programme and to work with the government of Canada to restore visa free status.