ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has reiterated his government’s commitment to increase the minimum wage and lower the cost of living within the next three months as his new 15-member Cabinet officially began work on Tuesday.
Skerrit, who led his Dominica Labour Party (DLP) to a convincing 18-3 victory in the December 18 general elections, has also pledged to attract foreign investment with improved air access and hotel facilities as part of the 100 day plan announced during the election campaign.
“That 100 day plan was not pie in the sky nor was it an election gimmick. It shall be pursued and brought into effect within the next 90 days. That, ladies and gentlemen, you can take to the bank,” Skerrit said.
The Prime Minister had promised that his new administration would increase the minimum wage to EC$1,000 (US$370), create 100 new positions for nurses and 150 jobs for teachers as well as reduce port charges by 20 per cent.
Skerrit, who retained the Finance portfolio and added Foreign Affairs and Information Technology, said his new team was ready to take Dominica to the next level of development with an improved road network which would include the completion of the west coast highway from the capital to the second town of Portsmouth, and another leading to the country’s main airport at Melville Hall.
The Prime Minister said ongoing improvements at the Melville Hall Airport were key to his government’s development thrust and he looked forward to making the island the preferred Caribbean destination for visitors and investors.
He told the swearing in ceremony that he wanted “visitors, investors and especially returning nationals be able to bypass the gateways and fly direct from Europe and the United States to Dominica.
“I take this opportunity to invite everyone to visit Dominica in a matter of two weeks for the inaugural night landing where we will formally open the commonwealth of Dominica to 24 hour air access.”
Skerrit also announced plans for a five star hotel and state of the art marina which he said would attract ‘thousands of stay over visitors,” and said his government would also work assiduously to elevate Dominica to the status of test cricket host within the next five years.
“I want to see test cricket in Dominica and I want to see West Indies take on the top playing nations of the world. As a matter of fact we shall host two one day internationals between West Indies and South African in May of 2010,” he reminded.
The Dominican leader said he also plans for a closer working relationship with the private sector so as to improve efficiency and the delivery of services to Dominicans.
“We shall start first with government and introduce the necessary initiatives and strategies to make government work better for the people it serves. We shall embrace the private sector to ensure that Product Dominica is more reliable, more convenient and more accessible,” Skerrit said.
Tags: Election 2009