JIS News

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  • The Government’s annual social protection expenditure under the four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) has exceeded the minimum $18 billion agreed on with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
  • This was disclosed by Financial Secretary in the Finance and Public Service Ministry, Everton McFarlane, who said the figure has averaged between $21 billion and $23 billion.
  • He argued that this is indicative of the Government’s “multidimensional” approach to administering the social protection framework.

The Government’s annual social protection expenditure under the four-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) has exceeded the minimum $18 billion agreed on with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

This was disclosed by Financial Secretary in the Finance and Public Service Ministry, Everton McFarlane, who said the figure has averaged between $21 billion and $23 billion.

He was speaking at the recent 13th IMF quarterly review media briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).

Mr. McFarlane noted that the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) is the “primary element” of the Government’s social protection framework for the society’s marginalised and most vulnerable citizens.

The Financial Secretary said provisions are also made under the poor relief and school feeding programmes, adding that “there are also (engagements) related to labour market activity training and special employment”.

He argued that this is indicative of the Government’s “multidimensional” approach to administering the social protection framework.

Mr. McFarlane advised that work is being done to strengthen the social protection network, and hinted at a pending programme to be coordinated through the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) that will focus on the minimum social protection monetary expenditure.

For her part, Head of the IMF Staff Mission Team to Jamaica, Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, indicated that there is scope for the social protection framework to be revisited to ensure coverage for an even greater number of the society’s most vulnerable and marginalised citizens.