Tue | Nov 13, 2018

Audley Shaw a fiscal nightmare

Published:Friday | January 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM


I was struck with terror as Andrew Holness declared to Jamaica that Audley Shaw will be his minister of finance if the Jamaica Labour Party forms the next government of Jamaica. That revelation drags my memory to the horrors of the last JLP administration in which Audley was the minister of finance.

It was almost comical that Andrew said Audley should be credited for efforts to reduce the debt, lower interest rates, and bring fiscal stability to the markets. I do believe that Andrew has a convenient case of amnesia, and that the only thing Audley should be credited for is being the architect of the collapse of the country's economy.

Under the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration of 2007-2011, with Audley Shaw at the helm of the Ministry of Finance, Jamaica accomplished failures to adhere to terms that were agreed with our international partners who gave the country US$2.4 billion as part of a standby agreement to complete tax-reform plans, to establish a central treasury-management system, and to pass legislation giving effect to pension reform and public-debt management.

These commitments were not honoured and, as a result, the standby agreement was abandoned. This led to an erosion of trust between the Government and our international partners that ended all multilateral borrowing. The result of this was that under the JLP Government the country experienced 11 consecutive quarters of negative growth.

Mr Holness, Audley will never again be Jamaica's man.