Speech

Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Portia Simpson Miller says that an International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement, by itself, will not solve all of the country’s problems.

“The Government must pursue a set of medium term reforms for growth, that will help to stabilize the macro-economic situation and reduce anxiety,” she emphasized.

Mrs. Simpson Miller was addressing a parish meeting, held at St. Hilda’s High School, in Brown’s Town, St. Ann, on January 30, organized by the Social Development Commission (SDC).

The Prime Minister said that an IMF agreement is important to the economic advancement of Jamaica, but is not an end, in and of itself.

With several interest groups enquiring about the status of the government’s intended agreement with the IMF, the Prime Minister gave an update within the established parameters. She explained that the government has taken the necessary steps to move the negotiations forward, while pointing out that the IMF has a process which must be followed.

She emphasized that the process, which the Jamaican government fully respects, includes protecting the confidentiality of the ongoing negotiations.

The Prime Minister stressed that the administration intends to be more aggressive about increasing the country’s primary surplus,

“The solutions to Jamaica’s problems, our problem, do not lie anywhere else but among Jamaicans and Jamaicans in the Diaspora. We will have to unite as one Jamaican family shaping the future together, to move this country forward,” the Prime Minister said.

She pointed out that whereas the IMF agreement is needed to unlock the availability of certain funds, all Jamaicans need to pull together to push the country forward.

Mrs. Simpson Miller contended that as a nation, “we have a responsibility for today’s generation and the generation to come, to play our part in the process of building the economy to achieve growth and development, along with job creation.”

The meetings started in St. Catherine with two others being held in Clarendon and St. James. This is part of the government’s thrust to promote accountability, transparency and to allow direct feedback and recommendations from citizens.