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  • Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, says he is pleased that Jamaica has maintained its B+ credit rating despite the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • “This week, S&P (Standard and Poor’s Ratings Agency) released their update on Jamaica where they are maintaining the credit rating of Jamaica’s long-term bond at B+. S&P rated Jamaica’s long-term bonds at B+ late last year, and that was the highest rating Jamaica has ever received from S&P in 20 years…they are maintaining that rating and that is something to be proud of,” he said.
  • He pointed out that earlier this year, both Houses of Parliament approved the suspension of the fiscal rules for the fiscal year 2020/2021, following amendments to the FAA Act, which expanded on the circumstances that could trigger suspension of the fiscal rules.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator the Hon. Aubyn Hill, says he is pleased that Jamaica has maintained its B+ credit rating despite the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“This week, S&P (Standard and Poor’s Ratings Agency) released their update on Jamaica where they are maintaining the credit rating of Jamaica’s long-term bond at B+. S&P rated Jamaica’s long-term bonds at B+ late last year, and that was the highest rating Jamaica has ever received from S&P in 20 years…they are maintaining that rating and that is something to be proud of,” he said.

Senator Hill was piloting the Financial Administration and Audit (Amendment) (No.2) Act, 2020, during the sitting of the Senate on Friday (December 18).​​

He said it is significant, that in the midst of the pandemic, and a projected 10 per cent contraction of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) “that S&P has seen it fit to maintain and affirm Jamaica’s credit rating at B+.”

Senator Hill attributed the development to the fact that Jamaica “managed to preserve economic stability” during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, he said that the Bill is an important law to allow for automatic adjustments to the fiscal balance when the requirements to achieve the fiscal targets are suspended in keeping with the fiscal responsibility framework.

He pointed out that earlier this year, both Houses of Parliament approved the suspension of the fiscal rules for the fiscal year 2020/2021, following amendments to the FAA Act, which expanded on the circumstances that could trigger suspension of the fiscal rules.

This includes, among other things, a periodic disaster within the meaning of Section 20 of the Constitution of Jamaica; or an Order published under section 26 of the Disaster Risk Management Act, declaring the whole or any part of Jamaica to be a disaster area or a threatened area or made under Section 16 of the Public Health Act.

The further amendments seek to lengthen the time period allotted for economic recovery as well as to reduce the minimum required adjustments in any one year.

“The amendments, we seek, are to facilitate on one hand, the pursuit of an adjustment path that’s consistent with the 60 per cent target (of reduction in debt to GDP) and on the other, to support gradual economic recovery,” Senator Hill said.

“The Government has a commitment to get back on track and reduce our debt, which will become even more burdensome if we don’t manage it properly,” he added.

The legislation was approved by the Members of the Senate.

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