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First IMF test, the easiest, says Shaw
2013-08-22 18:02:08 | (0 Comments)
Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer
The parliamentary Opposition says the lack of economic growth for five consecutive quarters should pose serious concerns for the Government, despite unofficial confirmation that Jamaica has passed its first test under its agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
The IMF signalled today that Jamaica has passed the first quarter test saying fiscal performance for the quarter as well as the last financial year outperformed projections despite declines in several key areas.
But Opposition spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw claims that the first test is always the easiest to pass.
He argues that the Government is celebrating passing the IMF test in the midst of negative growth in Jamaica’s gross domestic product since March last year, and the unemployment level rising almost two percent to 16.3 percent.
According to Shaw, the Government needs to balance its austerity programme with the IMF and implement creative ideas to stimulate growth in the economy.
Shaw says many of the policies implemented during his time as finance minister such as reductions in transfer taxes and stamp duties and the abolition of double taxation on dividends have been reversed by the Portia Simpson Miller-led Administration due to IMF dictates.
He says the private sector is hesitant and nervous because of what he calls the uncertainty in areas such as impending tax reform implementation.
With the passing of the IMF test, Jamaica is on course to receive US$30 million from the Fund in September.
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Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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