IMF urges gov't to accelerate public sector wage negotiations
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that Jamaica needs to accelerate public sector wage negotiations as further delays pose significant risks to the government’s fiscal accounts.
The IMF says the wage negotiations should be anchored on a framework to sustainably reduce the wage bill and release resources for the much needed social and growth-enhancing spending.
Head of the IMF's review team, Uma Ramakrishnan, says the Government must rethink the extensive and inequitable system of allowances and the overall pay structure in the public sector.
Finance Minister Audley Shaw said public sector reform remains at the top of the agenda.
Meanwhile, the team reviewing Jamaica’s performance under its Standby Arrangement with the Fund, says all quantitative performance criteria and structural benchmarks at the end of June were met.
Consideration by the IMF’s Executive Board is tentatively scheduled for October 2017.
Upon approval, an additional US$180 million will be made available for Jamaica, bringing the total accessible credit to about US$790 million.
However, the Jamaican authorities continue to view the SBA as precautionary, and use it as an insurance policy against unforeseen external economic shocks.