Further steps to empower the youth of Montserrat are in motion, as MNI Media today received news that the Montserrat Legislative Assembly Youth Parliament will, on Thursday May 9th, host its 2019 Budget Speech at the Brades Arts & Education Centre at 4:30 PM.
Accordingly, the Budget Speech will be delivered in Parliament by the Honourable Premier and Minister for Finance, Jhovan Daniel. The Youth Parliament will also sit to debate the Budget on Thursday May 9th.
The Office of the Legislature on Montserrat have stated that; "Montserrat The Budget Speech and Debate aims to highlight what the elected members have deemed important for the youths of Montserrat, drawing attention to the major issues they face to members of the Montserrat National Assembly had of the 2019-2020 Budget Speech."
Premier Daniel says “I'm excited for the first sitting of youth parliament for the year 2019. My Government's budget will speak about how our island can do more to generate revenue, and work towards being more self-sustainable in an economic sense. It also places priority on improving existing infrastructure such as our healthcare services and network connectivity. Developing and supporting the island's private sector is also of great importance.”
“I feel pretty ready to deliver the budget. Despite having no prior experience in this setting, the training sessions done by the Youth Parliament were very helpful in preparing my colleagues and I for this occasion. Although it will not be perfect, I hope that the focus on the content and the ideas can start a greater debate on how our country can move forward.” Premier Jhovan Daniel
Leader of the Opposition Ashneil Jeffers says “I'm extremely excited to have our first official debate on Thursday. My fellow opposition member and I will ensure that we keep our government in check and have a meaningful debate that will be the first of many to come”
Meanwhile in related news, the Speaker of the National Youth parliament Keyola Greene invites the people of Montserrat to the first sitting of the Montserrat Legislative Assembly Youth Parliament for the year 2019.
Speaker Greene says “I am delighted to see, after weeks of preparation, the first sitting of the Youth Parliament. I hope that the elected members waste not this opportunity and platform to duly represent the voice of the island’s youths, but use this time to underscore what the youths would like to see in the National Budget as whatever decisions are made at the National level will intern affect the youths of Montserrat. ”
Speaker Greene while reiterating her invitation to the First Sitting of the Youth Parliament adds “The attendance of the Montserrat community on Thursday will act as a bolster for the members of the youth parliament and moreover other young people alike showing them that they are always being supported.”
The aim of the Montserrat Youth Parliament is, primarily to expose young people to the tenets of democracy and of the Westminster Parliamentary system, teach them the workings of the Legislative Branch of the Government and prepare them for a possible future in government. It serves also, among other things, to give the youth a platform to voice their views and concerns on critical issues affecting their lives with the assurance that government and concerned organizations would be alerted of the challenges they face and take appropriate measures to address the situation. The program seeks to deepen youth’s understanding of the Government in general and empower them in advocacy, healthy debate and constituent representation.
The Youth Parliament of Montserrat is supported by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and UNICEF.