The Minister of Finance The Hon. Audley Shaw is referring the public to his July 13 statement on progress being made on issues related to Jamaica’s 3rd (December) and 4th (March) quarterly IMF reviews (see www.mof.gov.jm).
The 3rd (December) and 4th (March) reviews of Jamaica’s programme with the IMF have not yet been considered by the IMF Board of Directors. Both reviews have been postponed pending the resolution of certain issues including:
The public sector 7% wage settlement. Additional revenue needs or expenditure cuts connected arising from the settlement will be outlined in the supplementary budget to be presented on August 31.
Finalization of the divestment of the GoJ's shareholding in Clarendon Alumina Production (CAP)
Discussions on tax and tax waiver reform
Conclusion of negotiations with public sector unions on a formula for wage settlements in the medium term (2015) that is consistent with the agreed wage-to-GDP target (9%).
Minister Shaw notes that “significant progress has been made on these issues and with the finalization of the supplementary budget and the closing of the gap created by the decision to pay the 7%, the GOJ expects to be in a position to discuss with the IMF the date for the 3th and 4th Reviews”.
The following is also to be noted:
The review of the June quarter is not due until some six weeks after the quarter ends.
It has always been the case that the EU and other multilaterals pay attention to the economic programme of the government with the IMF. The link between EU and multilateral disbursements and the IMF programme is therefore not new.
We are confident that once the 3rd and 4th reviews are successfully completed, all flows from all multilaterals will be quickly disbursed.
Minister Shaw gave the assurance that work is far advanced on the supplementary budget. The supplementary estimates will be presented to cabinet for approval by August 15 for tabling in parliament on August 31.
The Minister further assured that “Jamaica will live up to our commitments with the IMF as this is vital for the continued stability of the Jamaican economy which was achieved at great sacrifice over the last 17 months”.