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Bloomfield prays for Jamaica in Parliament

Published:Wednesday | March 4, 2015 | 12:00 AM

It was not quite the call for divine intervention, but a Government Member of Parliament (MP) yesterday made it clear through prayers that Jamaica requires the guiding hands of the Almighty God.

"We need you because we have not quite managed our affairs over these many years," Dr Lynvale Bloomfield, the MP for East Portland said as he offered prayers at the start of the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives.

The committee, which is meeting over two days starting yesterday, is reviewing the estimates of revenues and expenditure as well as other fiscal documents pertinent to the budgetary process.

Bloomfield in his prayer called for the presence of the Almighty, saying, "We need you because we are between a rock and a hard place".

Jamaica is currently in the middle of a four-year extended fund facility programme administered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which, among other things, include the running of 7.5 per cent primary surplus over the life of the programme.

The IMF has said the target is ambitious by international standards even as Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips maintains that Jamaica is on track to achieve the targets outlined in the programme.

Phillips said with revenue and grants expected to fall short by $10 billion this fiscal year, expenditure is to be reduced to $425.2 billion or $14 billion in order to ensure Jamaica meets the primary surplus target.

Phillips said it will be "challenging to meet not only the March 2015 target, but also challenging to meet fiscal targets for 2015/2016".

"We need You because in spite of macroeconomic indicators, fiscal policy, debt management strategies, that alone is not enough," Bloomfield told God in prayer.

- D.L.