Dr. Douglas said in his 2011 budget presentation, “Mr. Speaker, we intend to emerge from this global crisis stronger than before. My Government has been taking the extremely hard but necessary decisions to stabilize our debt situation and to put our fiscal situation on a sustainable path.”
For this reason, the Prime Minister explained, the Government invited the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to support the home grown economic recovery program. This program came with a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) that makes available approximately US$84.1 million to the Government in support of the necessary structural reforms.
Douglas added, “Mr. Speaker, the structural reforms that are being supported and monitored by the IMF are being pursued vigorously and the initial indicators following the first review of our performance, which was just conducted by the IMF, are that we have been largely successful in meeting our targets.”
Prime Minister Douglas also went on to say, “Without a coherent vision and ownership of that vision by all of us, it would be nearly impossible for us to navigate to the future which we want to achieve. The question of how we build a better future begins with us agreeing on that future and then charting a course to reach that goal.”
Douglas Continued, “Mr. Speaker, we are building a society where we care for each other; where family is the cornerstone and family values are acclaimed; where our children, the elderly and those who are most vulnerable are protected and supported and no artificial barriers stand in the way of our working together to build our families, communities and country. We must come to understand that whether we rise or fall we do so together, then we would not tear down but rather build up. As a unified force, there is nothing that can impede our progress as a Nation. However, if we fight and devour each other, we all lose. We want to build a Nation where opportunities abound and people are empowered to pursue their dreams and aspirations for their personal benefit and to strengthen our Nation’s economic situation. We want businesses to thrive and grow so that they take advantage of niche markets which are opening up to us. We want to build Government Ministries and entities that subscribe to excellence in service and where productivity is high and employees are satisfied and motivated.”
He said, in the society which we are building, our young people must have good role models to look up to in their communities so that they can believe that they can succeed as others who have done it before. Our youth must be creative and strategic about their choices of vocation and must push beyond what is the norm in order to advance into the highly technological world in which we live. In this society that we are building, the architecture requires that all of our social and economic partners including the church, non-profit organizations and businesses become youth focused recognizing that they are indeed our future and that they must be nurtured, protected and molded to carry on our rich legacy.
“We must build a Nation where every man, every woman and every young person can find their place and live a fruitful, fulfilled life and be able to attain their full potential. We want to have a Nation where people do not feel excluded and therefore turn to deviant behavior. We want each person’s contribution to be valued so that together all of our ideas can collectively become the basis for solving our problems and for creating new strategies for the future growth and development of our Nation,” stated Douglas.
Those factors are what the Minister of Finance said are essential to the Nation’s ability to build strategically the human resource capacity and systems that can serve us well into the future.