JIS News

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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says her administration remains committed to protecting Jamaicans, particularly the most vulnerable, from the effects of the current economic adjustment measures.
  • This commitment, she indicates, is evidenced by the administration’s earmarked expenditure of $5.5 billion to safeguard the welfare of the society’s most vulnerable.
  • The administration has developed a ‘creative mix’ of programmes, “intended to reduce the economic and social pressure on all our people – especially the poor and middle class.”

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says her administration remains committed to protecting Jamaicans, particularly the most vulnerable, from the effects of the current economic adjustment measures, as it implements the country’s macro-economic transformation programme.

This commitment, she indicates, is evidenced by the administration’s earmarked expenditure of $5.5 billion to safeguard the welfare of the society’s most vulnerable, inclusive of $900 million to facilitate a 15 per cent increase to beneficiaries of the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH); and a $630 million allocation for the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP).

The Prime Minister was making her presentation in the 2014/15 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, April 29, under the theme: ‘Going for Growth and Development: Working for the People’.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said in recognition of Jamaica’s prevailing economic challenges, which sees the government currently implementing an economic reform programme, the administration has developed a ‘creative mix’ of programmes, “intended to reduce the economic and social pressure on all our people – especially the poor and middle class.”

These, she outlined, include: increasing the minimum wage rate and National Insurance Scheme (NIS) and government pensions; expanding the school feeding programme; implementing several important community building programmes; facilitating the commencement or implementation of several major investments; and revising the Students’ Loan Bureau’s (SLB) lending policy.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said that in the face of the economic adjustments, every effort must be made to ensure that persons likely to be the worst affected benefit from the measures aimed at alleviating the discomfort, adding that “no matter how small the pie, every single member of our Jamaican family must get a portion.”

“I believe that whenever there is a crisis affecting our people, the Government has a duty to apply appropriate measures to lessen the burden. The outcomes we seek will give us robust economic growth and marked improvement in the lives and fortunes of our people. I am committed to continuing to seek out and apply the necessary measures, as we strive to balance the lives of all our people, as we balance the books,” the Prime Minister said.