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Speech

“Following the announcement of the Tax Package in Parliament on Thursday, December 17, I have heard the cry and the appeal of the Jamaican people .
It is my intention to re-examine the existing composition of the tax package in order to determine if there are suitable alternatives to finding the $21-billion of revenue required to support the programme negotiated with the IMF, while at the same time reducing the harsh impact on the society especially the poor and vulnerable during these very difficult times.
I urge the Jamaican people to understand that our choices are extremely limited and there is no easy way out. Our current revenues cannot meet our required expenditures and we cannot continue to borrow our way into an even worse crisis. Nor can we shut down vital services that the government has to provide for the country. Discussions with the financial sector toward a substantial reduction in the cost of servicing our debt are well advanced and should be concluded shortly.
We remain resolute in our determination to do what is best for Jamaica in these difficult times while being sensitive to the difficulties which our people are already experiencing”.