Finance Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips has revealed that the International Monetary Fund, IMF, has been urging the Simpson Miller administration to undertake wholesale job cuts in the public sector, in order to help the country meet its target of wage to GDP ratio of 9-percent by the 2016-17 fiscal year.
The current ratio stands at 10.1-percent and could get higher, given the recent 7-percent wage deal agreed with the majority of public sector workers.
Speaking yesterday during his special interactive segment during the Power 106 FM produced programme, “Cliff Hughes Online”, Dr. Phillips says the government has no intention of acceding to the IMF’s request.
The notes to the IMF’s ninth review of Jamaica’s performance under the four year economic programme, speaks to the need for so called ‘undesirable policy options’ if the government is to meet its wage to GDP target.
That has been interpreted by analysts as a clear sign that the IMF is prodding the Simpson Miller to cut public sector jobs in order to control the wage bill.
Earlier this week, the parliamentary opposition, through its spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw, asked Dr. Phillips to clarify whether job cuts were on the cards, in light of the IMF’s suggestion.