UP-leader Theo Heyliger: Budget, economy and education are priorities

POSTED: 01/5/15 1:27 PM

St. Maarten – Financial management, education and the economy are three of the priorities United People’s party leader MP Theo Heyliger mentions in his New Year’s address. “Along with my coalition partners I will be working diligently with the government for a more productive, competitive and robust economy,” Heyliger stated. Below is the unabridged text of his address:

“My fellow Sint Maarteners,

Today marks January 1st, 2015. The birth of a New Year has taken place. At this time, everybody has prepared their New Year’s resolutions on what they would like to accomplish during 2015. As leader of the UP Party, I have also prepared some resolutions of what I would like to see accomplished for the people of this great country of ours.

Without a doubt, the year 2014 has been a year of challenges for some, but also a positive year for others. There will always be downturns and upturns in life, and in the socio-economic development of our country.

Sint Maarten’s ability has been tested time and time again. We are a resilient nation and a proud Caribbean people.  We have remained steadfast in our resolve to never give up, and to always move forward. And this should be one of our primary principles for 2015.

As a nation we must be thankful for life, first and foremost. For 2015, we look forward to live a better life. The continuous improvement in the quality of life of our people, and of the nation, is my number one priority as a Member of Parliament.

Financial management is a priority, in the sense that we must have an approved budget as soon as possible within the first 60 days of the New Year or less. Besides an approved budget for 2015, the strengthening and expansion of the income base of government is needed to execute the necessary programs and policies of the government of Sint Maarten for our people to have a better life.

The economy is also a priority that needs attention. A healthy and growing economy will mean job creation, job opportunities for Sint Maarteners, and more revenue for the government coffers. Along with my coalition partners I will be working diligently with the government for a more productive, competitive and robust economy. Sustainable development is the future for our country.

Health, education and social development are also primary areas that need attention and relate to the very fabric and building blocks of a society. These very important areas are also interlinked into our country’s fiscal growth as well as economic development – the bread and butter issues.

Therefore, if we are to continue to be prosperous and to further spread the wealth of the nation across our communities, the aforementioned areas need to be addressed.

Every individual has a responsibility to take care of their health by eating healthy and living a healthy life. A healthy nation will also mean a productive nation which in turn generates more revenues for the government who in turn can further invest in health, education and social development.

There is no better investment we can make in the future of our children, of Sint Maarten families and in our communities, by investing in these areas. An educated nation will in itself be innovative, productive and resourceful therefore creating opportunities for business and jobs. Education is an individual responsibility as well, where parents must guide their children and young teens about the importance of getting an education and allowing their minds to grow and become successful young men and women in our community.

Integrity, transparency, and open government are also priority areas for the country in 2015. Three reports have outlined the weaknesses and challenges that exist within our system of government and governing. The recommendations made will be enacted upon to further enhance and improve public governance in our democracy.

Political stability is also a key ingredient for sustainable development and investor confidence. The first four year term of country Sint Maarten saw three different governments. Today, January 1st, 2015, Sint Maarten has a cabinet in place that is here to assure that we will get the job done with respect to what we have set out to accomplish together as a nation.

The continuous improvement in the quality of life for all the people of this great country is a goal and daily priority for me as MP and leader of the UP Party in the House of Parliament.

My UP colleagues in the House along with my coalition partners have established the areas that need to be dealt with by the Gumbs-led cabinet. I am very confident in the team of ministers who have been appointed so far to carry out the people’s business. I would like to see a complete seven-member cabinet in place within 60 days or less as of the beginning of the New Year. There is much to be done and we need all hands on deck to move this nation forward for all the people.

In order to achieve what my coalition partners and I have set out to accomplish, we as a people must all work together with a new resolve in 2015.

We can only build the stronger and more prosperous country that we all want based on the input of everybody. Great things are accomplished by involving great people.

I look to 2015 with confidence and resolve to get the things done for the people of this great nation. I have great confidence in the resolve of the people, and in their unbreakable spirits.

Let us stand united as a people in 2015.

From my family to yours, I wish you the best in 2015, prosperity, health, security, personal fulfilment, and together we will accomplish great things leading to the further improvement in the quality of life of all Sint Maarteners.

May God Bless our country Sint Maarten and may he lay the richest of blessings from above on our great nation.”

 

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