REMARKS BY DR. THE RT. HON KEITH MITCHELL, PRIME MINISTER
CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE OF SOCIAL PARTNERS
ON THE OCCASION OF THE NATIONAL SOCIAL PARTNERS FORUM
1 October 2013
Grenada Trade Centre Annex
My Fellow citizens,
Tonight is a very special night in the governance of our Country.
You have just witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Intent among the Social Partners.
This is a historic development.
It signifies the willingness of all Partners to put Grenada first.
I intend to table this Memorandum in our Parliament at the first opportunity.
We, the Social Partners, must stay focused and finish the job which is completing a Social Compact for Grenada. Its completion and signing will be a defining moment in the history of our beloved Country – Grenada.
Our Government believes the Social Compact can and will be a powerful instrument of inclusive governance that will benefit all Grenadians. We are committed to this more inclusive approach to governance and national unity.
Tonight, is historic for a second reason. The Social Partners are taking another step in our journey of social dialogue and inclusion.
Since March of this year, the Committee of Social Partners has been met every month. The idea of the National Social Partners Forum was born out of a desire by the Social Partners to take our conversation to the Nation.
Tonight is the first in a series of engagements with the public on issues of high national importance.
Fellow Grenadians, we have a choice.
We can choose to light a candle or curse the darkness.
We can choose to fix blame or fix problems.
I have said before and I repeat, successive Governments including the ones I have led have made mistakes. We have done many good things but there some things that have not turned out as planned.
No one whether as politician, taxpayer or citizen comes to this national conversation without fault. Each of us must accept responsibility for the things we have done or failed to do.
We, should, therefore, join this national conversation with a strong sense of purpose, humility and responsibility.
The matter of Public Debt is a matter for all Grenadians. We have all benefitted from better roads, schools and expanded safety nets.
The sustained growth of our economy requires that we address the issue of the Public Debt.
Before we ask creditors for significant debt relief, we must demonstrate that we are doing the right things and making the necessary sacrifices. This means embarking on a homegrown programme of fiscal adjustment and structural reforms. The benefits of such as programme include:
- Significant reduction in our Public Debt
- Grants and Concessional Finance of more than US$120 million
- Technical Assistance in areas such as macro-economic advice and tax administration
- Enhanced confidence in the Grenadian economy
- Growth and job creation
Fellow Grenadians, we have an important opportunity. We must take the tough but necessary decisions in the best interests of ourselves, our children and grandchildren.
I urge each of us to put Grenada first.
Good night and May God bless us all.
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