Mr. Speaker, in my capacity as Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, I am both privileged and honoured to stand before you, this Honourable House of Assembly and the people of Barbados to present the Financial and Economic Statement and accompanying Budgetary Proposals.

In doing so Sir, it would be remiss of me if I did not seize upon this early opportunity to express on behalf of the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, the Right Honourable member for St. Michael South, colleagues, and all other members of this administration, our debt of gratitude to Almighty God for preserving our nation and its people in these challenging times.

Truly, the Lord has been and continues to be our ever dependable and never failing guide in whose blessed countenance we walk and will surely have no doubts or fears. Equally Sir, permit me to express our sincerest and humble appreciation to the people of Barbados for their steadfast and committed support for this administration during this crucial period of reflection, reform, restructuring and resuscitation of our economy and society.

It has not been easy, and chances are, it will continue to challenge us, but your support for Team Barbados has been exemplary and absolutely critical in allowing your government to steady the ship of state and navigate it to less turbulent waters.

On a personal level I would also like to thank the wonderful people of St. Michael North West not only for their continued solid support for me as their MP, but surely for their patience and understanding of the difficulties I would sometimes face in juggling the demands of the office I hold in the government and my ultimate responsibilities to them as their representative.??

For the full text of the 2015 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals as well as the summary and a copy of the new VAT free basket of goods, persons may click here.

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