Roseau, Dominica – Wednesday, July 23, 2014 – The First Meeting of the Fifth Session of the Eighth Parliament got underway on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at the House of Assembly on Victoria Street. The meeting began with the customary address by His Excellency Charles A Savarin President of the Commonwealth of Dominica. This was President Savarin first address to parliament since assuming office in October 2013
President Savarin’s address dubbed “Understanding the Major Challenges Facing Dominica and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in General” focussed on not allowing challenges faces by SIDS in the past to affect their future development. President Savarin called on SIDS to have confidence in overcoming whatever challenges future may hold.
“Whether it is in education, in housing, in water management and distribution, in infrastructural development, in Health Care or in the thrust to secure a cheaper, cleaner, reliable and renewable source of energy as a basis to attract new enterprises and grow existing ones, our nation has made substantial investments in the future,” President Savarin stated.
Prime Minister and Minister for Finance the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit also delivered the 2014/2015 National Budget Address titled “Towards Expansion of the Economy”. In his address Prime Minister Skerrit announced several initiatives aimed at improving the standard of living for Dominicans. This includes; measures aimed at improving the efficiency of clearing courier packages; reduction of import duties on baby wipes and adult disposable diapers; reduction in import duties on computers; relief to pensioners and people of pensionable age who do not have a pension; rebate on corporate tax for businesses taking on new employees; reduction in Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Rate by 5%; increase in mortgage interest allowance and; increase in non-taxable Income allowance.
Prime Minister Skerrit also announced that several capital project would comments within this fiscal year including; the Roseau Enhancement Project; the Portsmouth Enhancement Project; the new state of the art hospital and; the Roseau River Promenade.
Debate on the 2014/2015 National Budget will commence when parliament resumes on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 10:00am.