Holness commits to fiscal prudence
Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday gave a commitment that his administration would maintain fiscal prudence as it manages the economy when he, along with members of his incoming administration, and public officials met with a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at Jamaica House.
The IMF delegation, led by Nigel Chalk, deputy director of the Western Hemisphere Department, affirmed the Fund's readiness to continue its support of Jamaica.
The delegation noted the progress already made in reducing the debt burden through fiscal consolidation and the need for continued effort to bring Jamaica's debt ratios to a level that all stakeholders believe to be sustainable. The Fund team also noted that achieving this objective would become much easier with elevated levels of economic growth.
Holness underscored the importance of a productive partnership with the IMF in achieving the goals of the new administration and acknowledged the role that fiscal consolidation had played in stabilising Jamaica's economy. He emphasised the necessity for stability and signalled the intention of the new administration to use available policy tools to build on stability and to accelerate inclusive economic growth, while maintaining fiscal prudence.
Holness also informed the delegation of his intention to continue with the principle of stakeholder oversight of Jamaica's economic programme and performance.
Both parties agreed on the need to coordinate closely on the outlines of the Budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year. In that regard, the IMF would facilitate consultation ahead of the next review under the Extended Fund Facility agreement. The prime minister emphasised his administration's resolve to table a new Budget that reflects the priorities of the Government as early as possible in the new fiscal year.