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  • This strategy has been drafted within the context of the provision of effective social protection
  • The growth agenda aims to strengthen economic growth, secure debt sustainability, and preserve social cohesiveness
  • his is to help cushion the adverse impact of the fiscal consolidation programme on the most vulnerable

The final draft of a comprehensive social protection strategy being developed as part of the Government’s growth agenda for the economy, has been completed and is slated for review in early September.    

This strategy has been drafted within the context of the provision of effective social protection, as articulated in the country’s National Development Plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica.

The growth agenda aims to strengthen economic growth, secure debt sustainability, and preserve social cohesiveness.

Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) Director General, Collin Bullock, who made the disclosure at the PIOJ’s quarterly media briefing on August 27, said the strategy’s development reflects the Government’s commitment to maintain a minimum annual expenditure on specified social protection initiatives and programmes.

This is to help cushion the adverse impact of the fiscal consolidation programme on the most vulnerable as well as to ensure that growth is broad based and inclusive.

He informed that there has been an overall increase of 15 per cent in Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) benefits and a 67 per cent increase in benefits for the elderly.

“A graduation strategy for PATH households was defined by the Government in July 2013. This strategy also covers the strengthening of agency networks and broad institutional strengthening to support the Steps-to-Work programme, which is an integral part of the graduation strategy,” Mr. Bullock said.

Other key elements of the growth agenda include: fiscal consolidation; structural business reforms; strategic private-public investments, such the establishment of nine agro parks, accelerated development of facilities for ‘ready-to-use’ information and communication technology (ICT) activities, and port and transhipment facilities; and the community renewal programme.

“The programme also includes reforms aimed at enhancing the efficiency, effectiveness and overall quality of the service provided in the health and education sectors,” Mr. Bullock added.