JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, has said that the proceeds of salary cuts from Government members of the House, which will amount to $8 million, will go towards assisting infirmaries islandwide.
In a national broadcast a few weeks ago Prime Minister, Bruce Golding had informed that he would “lead by example” and give up his seven per cent pay increase due April 1, as well as take a 15 per cent cut in his current salary. He also encouraged his Parliamentary colleagues to follow suit by taking a 10 per cent cut.
“Today, I reiterate his call for that all Parliamentarians to reduce their salaries by 10 per cent,” Minister Shaw said as he opened the 2009/10 Budget Debate yesterday (April 23) in the House of Representatives.
“We believe this is an unprecedented and critical demonstration to all Jamaicans that we are united and prepared to lead by example. We cannot ask for cuts unless we are prepared to accept cuts. We cannot ask for sacrifice unless we are prepared to sacrifice. Sacrifices must be shared,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Finance Minister said that as the Government implements initiatives to combat the current problems facing the country “our first priority must be to maintain stability throughout our financial system. To that end, earlier this year, we took action and provided liquidity to the financial sector. While other countries in the region have experienced acute shocks, our financial system remains stable.”
“Second, we must reduce the pain of our debt burden by securing low-cost financing. In recent months we took action and have secured unprecedented multilateral support from a variety of sources,” he added.
The Minister urged the country to use the current economic situation as an opportunity to “address the longstanding structural problems in our economy and renew our commitment to the core pillars of our economic policy.”
“We must rebuild the foundation of our economy to make it competitive and provide the opportunity for a better life for our citizens. This is not a time for recrimination, recrudescence nor undue remonstration about past policy errors. Whether those who governed before us were wrong on some issues, is no longer the central issue. Neither is it a time for baseless criticisms and obstructionism in the face of these new and unprecedented challenges. We are where we are. Understanding how we got here, while important, as it avoids repetition of past mistakes, this must take second place to charting a new course out of our national predicament,” Mr. Shaw said.