The government will have to significantly tighten its belt in the next two years, in order to pay for the current COVID-related spending and meet its debt targets.

According to Deputy Financial Secretary, Dian Black, the primary surplus target will have to be raised as high as 8.3% in 2022/23, to get the country back on track.

Our Business and Finance Editor, Kalilah Reynolds, tells us more.


Under the last IMF agreement, Jamaica ran a primary surplus as high as 7.5% – the highest in the world at the time.

The primary surplus is the money that government sets aside to pay debt.

Many sectors of society complained at the time that 7.5% was much too high, restraining government from spending on other critical things like education and roads.

But in 2022/23, Deputy Financial Secretary, Dian Black, says the primary surplus is expected to be raised even higher – 8.3%!

And Ms. Black says it will remain high the following year as well, at 6.5%.

Dian Black, Deputy Financial Secretary.

However, speaking on Taking Stock this week, Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke, noted that government won’t need to spend as much on COVID-activities in the coming years.

Dr. Nigel Clarke, Finance Minister speaking on Taking Stock With Kalilah Reynolds.