Excerpts From Hon Noel Arscott’s Contribution To The 2013/2014 Sectoral Debate

Mr. Speaker, this debate comes against the background of a recognition that Jamaica is at a tipping point. A point where we must make difficult decisions. A point where bold and visionary political leadership is required from all stakeholders. A point where the private sector must become more involved and raise themselves to the highest standards of ethics and compliance, and become a part of the solution. A point at which the Jamaican people must understand that for every right we enjoy, there are corresponding responsibilities. …pg 9The key plank of the reform agenda is the promulgation of three (3) strategic laws – The Local Governance Act, The Local Government Financing and Financial Act, and The Local Government (Unified Services and Employment) Act.

The draft Cabinet Submission in respect of the three Strategic Laws was circulated and reviewed, and adjusted based on comments from the Attorney General (AG), the Legal Reform Department, the Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Finance and Planning, and the Police High command.  Mr. Speaker, after seventeen years, hundreds of consultations, and the hopes and aspirations of thousands of people, I am pleased to report that a Submission relating to these laws has been sent to Cabinet requesting approval for the issuing of drafting instructions to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel. …pg 14
Our commitment is to ensure improved quality of service in terms of consistency, effectiveness and efficiency of delivery. Mr. Speaker there are no two ways about it, despite the challenging times we face we must make the effort to improve our local services as our consumers are far more discerning and demanding of quality. Nothing is wrong with that; we all want a Jamaica that is comparable to the best places to which we have travelled. We want Jamaica to be the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business. But, Mr. Speaker, the stark reality is that it cannot be done without the necessary revenues…. Mr. Speaker, we have worked closely with the Ministry of Finance and Planning along with other stakeholders to develop a combination of measures aimed at improving the compliance rate for property tax collections…