Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Gains under PNP neutralised by IMF agreement conditionalities, says political commentator

Published:Monday | September 22, 2014 | 12:24 PM
Party supporters gather at the People's National party 76th conference held at the national Arena in St Andrew yesterday. - Photo by Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer

Political commentator Richard ‘Dickie’ Crawford says the gains made by the Portia Simpson Miller Administration have been cancelled out by adjustments made under the country’s arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).



Speaking at the People’s National Party Conference yesterday, Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said Jamaicans were better off than they were two years ago when her Administration took over.



She said unemployment has gone down, General Consumption Tax has been reduced, benefits under the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education have increased and that the economy is in a much better shape.



However, speaking on Independent Talk on Power 106 FM this morning, Crawford, who is also convenor of Jamaicans United for Sustainable Development, downplayed these reported gains.



Crawford says it is important to remember that these gains have been made within the context of a strict IMF programme which has called for, among other things, a wage freeze and devaluation of the dollar.



Audley Shaw insists PNP failing



And while Mrs Simpson Miller was rebutting criticism that her party has been passing IMF tests while failing the People’s Test, Opposition spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw, continued to rip into her management of the country’s affairs.



At an area council meeting held at Bustamante High School in Clarendon yesterday afternoon, Shaw argued that while the PNP was celebrating passing their fifth IMF test many Jamaicans were hurting.



According to him, the PNP has failed what he called the back to school test, the garbage test, food prices test and the mosquito tests.



Shaw says the Simpson Miller-led Administration has been dwelling on what it has dubbed the "four missing years" while completely ignoring what he termed the "18 forgotten years".



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