Social sector initiatives to be outlined during Throne Speech and Budget Session

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas walks along the red carpet on his arrival for the Swearing In ceremony

ST. KITTS, FEBRUARY 11TH 2010 (CUOPM) – A wide range of social sector initiatives will be outlined during the Throne Speech at the opening of a new Parliament and the presentation of the 2010 Budget.

Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said programmes aimed at training young parents, reducing the drop rate in schools, fighting crime and making communities safer will get specific attention.

“The social sector will also occupy much of our attention in the new term, and we will at the opening of Parliament, and in the upcoming budget session, outline a very wide range of social sector initiative,” said Dr. Douglas.

He said all efforts must be made to make the communities safer by working together to fight crime.

“Hence, early in this new term of office, we will carry out a comprehensive review of the all of the various crime fighting initiatives with a view to evaluating their effectiveness, committing more resources to the initiatives that are achieving results and developing new community based approaches to the fight against crime. We will continue to train young parents in parenting skills, and to give our young people greater scope to develop their varied skills in our schools and educational institutions. This we expect will reduce the dropout rate in our schools and cut off the supply of young people ready to do the bidding of hardened criminals in gangs,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

The St. Kitts and Nevis leader said his government’s ability to implement a very expansive programme of development will depend heavily on the strength of the institutional framework and the efficacy of the processes that must be deployed to carry out the mandate of the Government.

“We will therefore strengthen the office of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Secretariat to allow them to play even more central roles in monitoring the implementation of the various policy initiatives. They will demand regular performance reports from all Government entities and issue directions from Cabinet aimed at ensuring that the projects, programmes and activities of the Government are on course to realizing their objectives efficiently and effectively. We will also ensure that the Government policies are appropriately informed by the views and concerns of our people expressed through various consultative mechanisms,” he told the gathering.

Dr. Douglas disclosed that his administration will establish councils or commissions with public and private sector participation to provide inputs in the policies established in relation key sectors or issues including public sector modernization, crime fighting, youth development, health reform, and education reform.

“We have already established a competitiveness council to address competitiveness issues, and I am confident that this important council will make a very significant contribution to the development of our Federation. We also intend to exert every effort to bring more energy to community life and to ensure that national policies take full cognizance of community issues and concerns. In this regard, I expect that our community centres will play central roles in community life and become hubs of activity. I expect your constituency representatives will hold regular sessions in the community centres and relay the issues of concern in communities to the Cabinet and the National Assembly, so that these important policy-making institutions would be more responsive to the needs our communities and our people,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

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