Gov’t Missed IMF Target; Shaw Questions 2015/16 Budget Credibility

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Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw, is questioning the credibility of the 2015-2016 fiscal budget, in light of revelation that the government missed several fiscal targets last year.

Mr. Shaw says the government has failed to meet the Primary Surplus Target, despite almost 7 billion dollars of new tax measures imposed during the last fiscal.

Mr. Shaw says the Opposition also continues to question what he calls the government’s “NO GROWTH-JUST PASS THE IMF TEST” policy.

He says this policy which has been anchored by sharp cuts in capital expenditure and an unprecedented raid on the National Housing Trust funds, only serves to squeeze the Jamaican people and provides no hope or opportunities for advancement.

Mr. Shaw says the government has not been able to generate growth anywhere near the levels required to lift living standards in Jamaica.

Of note, he says, the Opposition has offered many growth initiatives over the last three and a half years, which have all been ignored by the Simpson-Miller led administration.

Mr. Shaw says that while passing IMF Tests are important, its not sufficient.

He says the Jamaican people have suffered the consequences of a 34 percent devaluation of the exchange rate, plunging the working class, including some public sector workers, into a new category called “the working poor”.

At the same time, he says, more people are now below the poverty line as a result of the hostile and anti-growth policies of the current PNP government.

The Opposition Spokesman on Finance says only a clear strategy for generating significant investment and job creation will create the necessary economic growth of approximately 6 percent per year that can take Jamaica from poverty to prosperity