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Shaw says government faces productivity crisis over pension scheme

Published:Tuesday | January 5, 2016 | 9:13 AM
Opposition Spokesperson on Finance, Audley Shaw

Opposition Spokesperson on Finance, Audley Shaw, is warning of what he calls a crisis of productivity, with the expected implementation of new pension arrangements for public sector workers.

The Government is pushing to institute legislation for the new public-sector pension system by April.

It could see the workers, who recently got a seven per cent increase in salaries, paying over five per cent in contributions.

However, the former finance minister in the previous Jamaica Labour Party administration says the situation will pose a problem for the government.

Shaw says upset workers could reduce their productivity at a time when economic growth is paramount.


Opposition Spokesperson on Finance, Audley Shaw

According to Shaw, the implementation of the pension scheme should have been accompanied by a higher salary increase that would allow a cushion for the workers to begin to make contributions to the pension scheme.

Meanwhile, the spokesman says he supports the proposal for the government to match the five per cent pension contribution of public sector workers, and will bring the issue to the Shadow Cabinet.

The Jamaica Civil Service Association says it is uncomfortable with the unwillingness of the State to match the contribution by workers, while, the Jamaica Teachers' Association says asking teachers for five per cent of their salaries is “unbearable”.

The White Paper on Pension Reform, tabled in Parliament in 2013, proposes that the Government pay 3.5 per cent for the 5 per cent contribution that workers will be asked to make.