Sun | Mar 18, 2018

IMF says gov't should redirect more resoures to fight crime

Published:Monday | November 14, 2016 | 9:17 AM

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the Government will have to redirect more resources to crime fighting to create the environment for economic growth. 

The IMF made the declaration in a statement announcing its approval of the new four-year Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Jamaica.

The new arrangement replaces the current special extended fund facility which was originally scheduled to end in March next year.

The new arrangement also makes available to Jamaica, USs1.6 billion.

Deputy IMF managing director, Tao Zhang, said the insurance agreement will keep focus on reforms to deliver better growth and jobs as well as reduce poverty.

However, he stressed that the Government has to pay attention to crime.

According to him, resources will have to be redirected to combat crime and ensure national security. 

He also stressed that a collective effort will be required to carryout the reforms collaboration recommended by the Economic Growth Council 

Crime accounts for up to seven per cent of Jamaica's GDP which is just over US$14 billion.

Co-chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee, Richard Byles was criticised for recommending that the Government use half of the $16 billion needed to fund the second phase of the tax break plan, to better equip the security forces.

In dismissing the proposal, the deputy of the Growth Council Nigel Clarke said other budgetary allocations are needed to address crime, insisting that the tax plan is important to get more Jamaicans to pay their fair share of taxes.