Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 31st 2014 Contents A17
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
from 9am to midnight
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Saddle Road, Maraval
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Starlight Shopping Center, Diego Martin
West Bees Supermarket, Diego Martin
Xtra Foods, Grand Bazaar
Xtra Foods, Arima
Shops of Arima
KFC, Gulf View
(opp. Gulf City Shopping Complex)
Gopaul Lands, Marabella
PriceSmart, La Romaine
Massy Stores, La Romaine
Scoops, Cor. Pigeon Point
& Milford Rd, Crown Point
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Now you can shop for FireOne Fireworks
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Each Firework comes with a video
clip so now you can see the magic
unfold before you purchase.
Lots of Giveaways EVERYDAY!
Additional Parking at the Centre of Excellence
All New 2015 Line
VIDEO Demonstrations of our latest fireworks
Face Painting, Bouncy Castles and
Balloon Artists will be there
Following is the Prime Minister s New
Year s message which she read at yester-
day s post-Cabinet news conference:
We are at a point in our nation s affairs
when we are faced with lower energy prices.
I was part of a former administration in
1995 when the country also had to be man-
aged with lower energy prices. Despite this
we demonstrated that we were up to the
task and the country experienced a level of
prosperity which few thought possible.
I am therefore not daunted by the current
situation but instead feel very confident of
our ability to mitigate the impacts of lower
energy prices whilst preserving jobs and
promoting economic growth.
I remain doubly focussed on the task at
hand. Attempts to distract my attention and
energies from my responsibility to lead and
manage the affairs of this nation will not
deter me from my goal of a prosperous and
We came into office at a time when the
country s financial stability was threatened
by the $20 billion-plus Clico debacle and
the almost $1 billion HCU fiasco.
In 2010, I pledged that my approach to
managing the affairs of the country will be
based on the widest possible stakeholders
consultation, as well as a style of leadership
which listens before acting.
I have tried to remain faithful to these
promises as far as humanly possible, bal-
ancing the various national demands which
must be considered in arriving at decisions
that are in the nation s interest as a whole.
Today, as we approach the final few
months of my first term as Prime Minister,
I can say with a lot of confidence that T&T
is in a better place than when I inherited
the responsibility for its administration.
May I take this opportunity to point out that despite
the ups-and-downs and the reality that this Gov-
ernment has been the most scrutinised administration
ever in our political history, we enjoy today political
stability, economic growth, financial stability, lower
levels of poverty, and increased financial support for
pensioners and the vulnerable in our society.
Over the life of my administration over 75 labour
agreements have been settled, most of which were
outstanding when we came into office in 2010.
All of this has been achieved without any new
taxes (personal and corporate) in the last five years.
In addition, we have maintained the subsidy on
gas prices and have increased social welfare benefits.
We have increased the number of scholarships to
students for undergraduate and graduate studies and
as well have advanced our goal of universal early
With the completion of the children s hospital in
mid-2015, as well as the improvements which are
going to come with the expansion of the Sangre
Grande Hospital as well as in Arima and Point Fortin,
health care will be vastly improved.
On May 24, 2010, you elected me as Prime Minister
to lead a Partnership government in order to ensure
political stability, sustainable economic growth, pros-
perity for all through job creation and business expan-
sion as well as an environment which gives all of our
peoples the opportunity to realise their goals and
In addition, you entrusted us with the responsibility
of caring for and protecting the elderly and the vul-
nerable, the poor and the disenfranchised among us.
You made a pact with us to protect the environment
and to create a safer community.
You challenged us to improve the overall quality
of life as reflected in infrastructural development,
food security, health services, transport, crime reduc-
tion, housing and education.
We have tackled the situation regarding crime and
criminals with the level of aggression and commitment
required of us.
We have used a combination of laws and operational
strategies to deal with the criminal elements.
We have also pursued white collar crime and have
done what no administration has done, that is, we
successfully introduced Procurement Legislation.
Unfortunately, while civil society has supported
the efforts of the Government to introduce the historic
piece of legislation, the parliamentary opposition did
not give their support.
The passage of this piece of legislation showed
that my Government is willing to partner with civil
society to ensure that the laws which make for fair
opportunity in the conduct of business will be realised.
Overall the number of serious crimes has decreased
though we are still challenged by the murders and
domestic violence cases. It is my desire to continue
to manage and lead this nation to prosperity and
towards this end I am committed.
I trust that all citizens had a wonderful Christmas
season. I noted that people were very family focused
this year and perhaps more introspective. This is
good as we enter a new and challenging year.
My Christmas season was enriched by the thou-
sands of happy faces of children who interacted with
me during our toy-distribution drive.
In my view it is the right of a child to be happy
not unhappy and I thank all of our citizens for what-
ever you would have done to make a child happy.
Those happy faces gave me inspiration and the
strength to continue to do the best that I can for our
country and our people and to work harder with the
next generation in mind
As we move into the New Year, I am as concerned
about this country as everyone else should be. As
such I propose to do the following.
I will speak to the nation on the state of the econ-
omy on January 8, 2015. I will address the issue of
falling oil and gas prices and their implications for
T&T and outline the way forward in the year ahead.
PM to talk on T&T's economy January 8
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