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Phillips knocks Opposition over IMF utterances
2012-09-11 16:59:57 | (0 Comments)
Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
Finance Minister Dr. Peter Phillips - file photo.
Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips today rapped the Parliamentary Opposition for statements made about the country's financial situation and the pace of negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In a statement to the House of Representatives, Phillips said opposition spokespersons, who he said should know better, have been making ill-informed statements.
He said the suggestion that the government is unable to conclude the negotiations with the IMF only unnecessarily aggravates the real challenges in the economy.
"For whatever reason, these statements are made, they are potentially damaging to the efforts being made to restore Jamaica's economic stability," he said.
He told the parliament that the Government could not have made faster progress on the negotiations with the IMF until it makes real progress on the structural reforms that were agreed under the standby agreement but were "abandoned" by the last administration.
The minister said the government is aware there has been skittishness in the markets.
"This administration is more than aware of the genuine concerns of ordinary Jamaicans, workers, business people, investors and the Diaspora about developments in the economy and issues relating to the IMF," Phillips said.
However, he said the Government is seeking the best deal for the country.
He also said the Government has made progress but warned that tough challenges lie ahead.
Representatives of the IMF arrive in Jamaica later this month to begin negotiations for a new agreement.
Phillips said an IMF deal will turn on three major factors - public sector wage containment, tax reform and a sustainable path which will see a reduction of the public debt as a percentage of GDP over the medium term.
"These are difficult challenges but not insurmountable if we have a collective resolve," Phillips said.
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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