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Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says establishment of the Fiscal Council will seek to further institutionalise economic independence by strengthening Jamaica’s Fiscal Responsibility Framework.

He points out that the Fiscal Council will be the guardian and interpreter of those fiscal rules which already exist and will help to maintain a path of fiscal credibility long into the future.

“Our fiscal rules became law in 2010 and were strengthened in 2014 where a fiscal balance is prescribed with a view of meeting a debt-to-GDP target of 60 per cent by 2026,” Dr. Clarke said, as he opened the 2019/20 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on March 7.

He said Jamaica is now at the halfway mark on its debt reduction trajectory, having reduced it from 147 per cent of GDP and projected to 96 per cent by the end of March.

“However, as good as that sounds, our own experience shows that even this reduced level of debt still leaves us vulnerable to external shocks,” the Minister argued.