Andrew Holness addresses the House of Representative during presentation at the Budget Debates 2024. (Photo Credit: PBC Jamaica)

by: Sharian Blagrove

Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ recent remarks during the budget debate have struck a chord with many, highlighting Jamaica’s remarkable economic achievements and offering hope for the future, particularly among young professionals.

Jamaica’s ability to achieve ten consecutive quarters of economic growth since the pandemic, combined with twenty quarters of growth prior to it, demonstrates the country’s perseverance. This sustained growth has not only provided economic stability, but it has also resulted in record-low unemployment rates, allowing more Jamaicans to actively participate in the economy.

Additionally, Prime Minister Holness effectively stated that Jamaica has emerged as a shining star in managing its debt burden over the last decade. The government’s commitment to fiscal responsibility is evident in its handling of the national debt, which has now reached its lowest point in 30 years. All three major rating agencies have recognised Jamaica’s achievement by upgrading its ratings, indicating international confidence in the country’s economic management.

One of the most significant accomplishments highlighted by Prime Minister Holness is Jamaica’s current account balance of payment surplus, which has not occurred since 1966. This surplus suggests a positive trend towards long-term economic growth, giving young professionals a stable and growing economy in which to build their careers.

The government’s taxation policy, which includes presenting nine consecutive budgets with no net new taxes and actively lowering the tax burden on citizens, is particularly encouraging for young professionals. Measures such as raising the income tax threshold and lowering the property transfer tax rate provide young professionals with more financial freedom to pursue their career goals.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Holness’ vision for a new mindset and awareness of productivity is admirable. His emphasis on workers being independently responsible for productivity management and workplace restructuring is critical for developing a more efficient public sector bureaucracy that can better serve the Jamaican people.

Overall, one cannot help but be inspired and encouraged by the slew of measures and initiatives announced by Prime Minister Holness. As a young professional about to enter the Jamaican economy, the prospect of a stable and growing economy, combined with fiscal stability and a government committed to lowering taxes, is extremely encouraging. It instills optimism about the future and the belief that success is possible with hard work and dedication.

Overall, Prime Minister Holness’ speech serves as a beacon of hope for young professionals, encouraging them to strive for excellence and contribute to Jamaica’s continued economic growth and development.