- Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government intends to stick to its current macroeconomic policy in order to protect and build on the gains attained to date.
- He argued that any reversal or diversion from the policy could jeopardise prospects for the nation’s economic security and independence.
- The Prime Minister was speaking at a media briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on Tuesday (April 30) to announce an additional US$140-million loan from the World Bank.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government intends to stick to its current macroeconomic policy in order to protect and build on the gains attained to date.
He argued that any reversal or diversion from the policy could jeopardise prospects for the nation’s economic security and independence.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a media briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) on Tuesday (April 30) to announce an additional US$140-million loan from the World Bank.
He noted that “we are seeing growth emerging… and I think we can safely say that we have entrenched good fiscal management [and] the Government is set on this course”.
“But the gains that we have made can easily be reversed if we were ever to tinker with or try to, in any way, change what the people of Jamaica, the trade unions, the banks, the private sector, the public sector have worked so hard to [achieve)],” he said, stressing that it is more practical to “stick with what we have seen work”.
“Let us not start this conversation about trying to change policy. Let us cement it in and… move on to other things, such as becoming a resilient country, to protect the gains that we have,” he added.
The Prime Minister’s comments come in the wake of similar sentiments expressed recently by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, who indicated that the people of Jamaica have sacrificed too much and come too far, for any suggestion of policy changes to be considered or entertained.
“We’ve experienced a lot of positive change coming out of our economic reform, and we will continue with the policies that have generated this unprecedented opportunity,” Dr. Clarke said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Holness, during Tuesday’s briefing, said that the Administration is mindful and proactive against any risks “that could disturb our currently good trajectory”.
He indicated that the Government, through the Finance and the Public Service Ministry, has been working with international development partners, such as the World Bank, to craft financial instruments that will protect Jamaica against weather-related events, among other risks.
“The extent of the protection is really to give us quick and easy access [to funds] at rates that are affordable and conditions that are aligned with the disaster or unplanned-for emergency. That is a part of good governance, to make sure that, in the long run, Jamaica can continue on its path of economic independence,” the Prime Minister added.
The US$140-million World Bank loan will enable the Administration to boost Jamaica’s resilience against natural disaster risks, support human capital development and strengthen the social safety net for the society’s most vulnerable citizens.
Arrangements for the provision, which resulted from discussions Dr. Clarke had during the institution’s recent series of spring meetings in Washington DC, USA, were formally concluded during a meeting on Tuesday (April 30) with the Bank’s newly appointed Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean, Axel van Trostenburg, at the OPM.
The meeting was part of the itinerary for Mr. Trostenburg’s first visit to the island in his new capacity.