JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller is describing the economic and industrial relations climate in the country as “a very delicate situation.”
  • The Prime Minister says all persons and groups in Jamaica “have to make up our minds and choose what makes sense at this critical point.”
  • Mrs. Simpson Miller’s comments came against the background of the current salary negotiations between various public sector groups and the Government.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller is describing the economic and industrial relations climate in the country as “a very delicate situation.” Acknowledging the economic sacrifices that public sector workers and most persons in the country have been making over the years, the Prime Minister says all persons and groups in Jamaica “have to make up our minds and choose what makes sense at this critical point.”  Prime Minister Simpson Miller made the comments during her opening remarks at a meeting of the Partnership for Jamaica (PFJ) Council at Jamaica House on Thursday, June 25.

Mrs. Simpson Miller’s comments came against the background of the current salary negotiations between various public sector groups and the Government. On behalf of the Government, she thanked all public sector workers for their patience, understanding and support over the past several years, but noted that the current situation in the country required continued patience and understanding in order to achieve sustainable economic and social gains. “Does it make sense after we have made the sacrifices to do something which prevents us from getting to that better place which we all want to reach?” the Prime Minister questioned.

She told members of the Partnership, which comprises civil society, the private sector, trade unions and the Government, “Together we have to agree on how to protect the improvements over the past two and a half to three years, and create an environment for accelerating growth and employment in the short and medium term.”

In previous meetings, the PFJ National Council has commended the Government for staying the course of Jamaica’s Economic Reform Programme and for consistently meeting the economic targets.  Additionally, in recent months, several notable international organisations including the World Bank, Forbes Magazine and JP Morgan, have commended Jamaica for stabilising the economy and improving the country’s competitiveness. For example, Jamaica has improved its ranking from 94 to 58 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Survey.

Under the Economic Reform Programme – supported by the International Monetary Fund – the country has so far successfully passed eight consecutive performance assessments by the IMF Board and secured annual economic growth of approximately one percent.