OPPOSITION SPOKESMAN on Finance Audley Shaw yesterday criticised Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips for managing an economy which continues to keep Jamaicans out of work and force private businesses into bankruptcy.
Shaw warned that no talk of leadership challenge in the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) would distract him from what he described as the people's business.
"You have passed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) test, but you have not passed the people's test," Shaw told delegates at a meeting of the JLP's Area Council Three in reference to Phillips' announcement.
A staff-level mission which conducted the first quarterly review under the four-year extended fund facility, confirmed late last week that Jamaica's fiscal performance for the last financial year, and the first quarter of the current year, outperformed projections, despite declines in several key areas.
The team also noted that economic activity is estimated to have contracted by 0.7 per cent in fiscal year 2012-2013, with a further decline from April to June 2013 and the reported unemployment rate increased to 16.3 per cent at the end of April, and that inflation reached 9.7 per cent in July.
Shaw said Phillips was bragging about passing the first IMF test, while his Government continued to wreck people's lives. "How can you brag about passing IMF test when there is no employment, no economic growth and you not paying your bills?"
Shaw charged while the JLP was attempting to address its internal issues, the People's National Party Government continued to wreak havoc on people's lives.
"While we are here, the PNP continues to be going happily along, mashing up the country," said Shaw. "How come him talk about passing IMF test when he has been managing six consecutive quarters of no economic growth?" asked Shaw.
"How come unemployment has moved by three per cent from 13 to over 16 per cent, but the minister ah brag that him pass IMF test?" he added. "People can't get no work, but Peter Phillips a brag? How is that?"