Prime Minister Andrew Holness has reassured the Canadian Diaspora that the country’s debt to GDP ratio will fall below one hundred per cent by the end of the financial year.
“This is not a political achievement, it is a national achievement. But it is forcing us now to pay for our development with our own taxes and by growing our economy”, explained the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Holness was addressing Jamaicans in the Diaspora yesterday (June 7) at the OPM Live Canada Town Hall meeting at the Praise Cathedral Worship Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.
“We have gone on a diet. We are not borrowing what we don’t have and can’t pay back”, indicated Prime Minister Holness.
He further explained that some of the borrowing can be attributed to bad policies informed by purely bad politics.
“In 2009 we had no choice but to confront the issues that we had and by then our debt to GDP, meaning what we owed the rest of the world relative to what we produce in a year, for every dollar of production we owed one hundred and forty dollars. So our debt to GDP ratio was $140 to $1. We had no choice but to go the IMF for assistance. It forced us to adapt and adopt a more practical approach to the management of our affairs. If we are going to develop we will have to pay for our development by growing our economy and being responsible with our finances. We could not continue to say it was somebody else’s fault. We couldn’t blame it on the international world order because many of the problems were as a result of our local homegrown decisions”, noted the Prime Minister.
In the meantime, he added that the Government is also moving to create a digital economy. A part of this initiative is the National Identification System which is designed to secure the unique identity of every Jamaican.