Multi-Stakeholder Acceptance of Fiscal Council Will Be Key – Finance Minister

Photo: Donald De La Haye Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, addresses guests attending the Caribbean Policy Research Institute’s recent public forum at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies, St. Andrew.

Story Highlights

  • Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says multi-stakeholder acceptance and ownership of Jamaica’s proposed independent Fiscal Council will be key to its success.
  • He pointed out that this has been manifested by the Government’s engagement of wide-ranging stakeholder groups who have been “active” participants in policy discussions.
  • The Council is deemed pivotal to Jamaica’s engagements in the post-IMF era, which is anticipated will follow when the current US$1.7-billion Precautionary Stand-By Arrangement concludes in November 2019.

Finance and the Public Service Minister, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, says multi-stakeholder acceptance and ownership of Jamaica’s proposed independent Fiscal Council will be key to its success.

Fiscal councils are permanent, independent, non-partisan institutions that are created by legislation and staffed by competent, experienced and technically proficient persons who help to promote economically sustainable fiscal policies across political cycles.

Dr. Clarke, who was speaking at a recent Caribbean Policy Research Institute public forum at the University of the West Indies, Mona, St. Andrew, noted that a key feature of Jamaica’s recent economic success “is the extent to which there has been broad ownership of our economic reforms”.

He pointed out that this has been manifested by the Government’s engagement of wide-ranging stakeholder groups who have been “active” participants in policy discussions.

This, the Minister added, has contributed to engendering a degree of social cohesion which is “enviable”.

“That’s why the emergence of this institution (Fiscal Council) has to represent Jamaica’s own evolution. We have to be true to how we got to this position of success… and (that is) because we had broad ownership and engagement,” he argued.

As such, Dr. Clarke said the Council’s success must embody those principles, adding that “finding a way for (that) kind of engagement… is going to be important”.

The proposed Fiscal Council is consistent with the Government’s plans to secure Jamaica’s gains under successive economic reform programmes with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and build on the success of domestic partnership initiatives.

The Council is deemed pivotal to Jamaica’s engagements in the post-IMF era, which is anticipated will follow when the current US$1.7-billion Precautionary Stand-By Arrangement concludes in November 2019.

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