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Rapid depreciation of the Jamaican Dollar threatens to wipe out SME Sector says G2K

G2K | 2014-03-13 00:00:00

Generation 2000 (G2K), the young professional affiliate of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), today expressed significant concern at the rate of depreciation of the Jamaica Dollar. Since March 12 2013, the dollar has lost 12.2% of its value moving from Jamaican $97.34 to 1 US dollar to an all-time high of Jamaican $109.02 to 1 US dollar.

“The slide in the dollar is having a debilitating effect on all Jamaicans, especially those in the micro and small enterprise sector.  It is clear that at this pace of devaluation, our businesses are unable to properly plan and forecast and it is completely eradicating the slim profit margins that these organisations currently survive on” said Floyd Green

The organisation notes that despite assurances, by the Minister of Finance, that depreciation may be good for our economy, the Government has put nothing in place to enable our Private Sector to benefit from relatively cheaper costs of exports. Touted reforms to make industries more export oriented have proceeded at a snail’s pace while our Manufacturers are still faced with extremely high costs of energy,  security and they have been provided with no real mechanisms that allows them the fiscal space to retool and innovative.

“Young persons and our most vulnerable groups- the poor, children and the elderly- have also been adversely affected as they have to contend with the rapid increases in the cost of basic food items. The youth in particular are most affected as they not only have to contend with the high of cost of living but also the reality of living while being unemployed. We are now faced with the highest rate of unemployment among the youth that this country has seen in over a decade. The Minister of Finance who spent the entire first year of his tenure missing targets and overseeing the complete decimation of our NIR cannot now hide behind the IMF as blame for the erratic movement of the dollar” continued Green.

G2K urges the Minister to see to the restoration of some amount of stability to the foreign exchange market; to increase the pace of reform aimed at removing impediments to doing business in Jamaica; reward innovation and comprehensively reform our tax system

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