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Story Highlights

  • Cabinet met on Thursday, December 5, for day one of its special session to review the country's medium-term economic programme.
  • Prime Minister Simpson Miller said the Government has succeeded in making many of the difficult decisions “that many thought we could not do”.
  • The Prime Minister said it is important to note that the government has been faithful in commitments made to workers.

Cabinet met on Thursday, December 5, for day one of its special session to review the country’s medium-term economic programme and the macro economic projections for the 2014/2015 Financial Year.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, in giving her charge at the start of the session, said the Government has succeeded in making many of the difficult decisions “that many thought we could not do”.

She said Jamaica has been meeting the macro economic targets and the prescribed legislative agenda, and has also passed the first two International Monetary Fund (IMF) sets of targets (the first by the IMF Board and the second by the IMF mission team).

The Prime Minister said it is important to note that the government has been faithful in commitments made to workers. All back pay, outstanding settlements and benefits have been paid as programmed. Total payments up to November amounted to $13.8 billion.

Other payments due to realignment of salary scales will begin in the fourth quarter of the financial year to correctional officers, medical officers and consultants, and firefighters.

Government also kept its commitment to expand spending on social protection, including additional benefits under the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), and to increase the level of capital expenditure.

All of this was achieved with Government remaining faithful to the promise to reduce the level of public debt and position Jamaica’s economy to achieve growth and job creation, the Prime Minister said.

Thursday’s session focused on the macro economic performance for 2013/2014 and projections for the next financial year and beyond; the growth agenda; and the protection of the vulnerable.

The special meeting, which is an early start to the 2014/2015 budget preparation exercise, will continue at Jamaica House on Friday, December 6.