Austerity will pay off in long run
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The polls are out, and in the midst of the fog it has created, the Opposition is busy whipping up the elixir it claims can cure the wounds of the country. Let's cut the fluff: with all due respect to Bill Johnson, his polls are not a true reflection of the current affairs in the country.
Jamaica is no different from any other nation that has been reeling from the effects of the global financial crisis. Our situation is, in fact, made worse because of the poor financial policies of past years that have left us saddled with a mountain of debt. In a bold move not to perpetuate the policies of the past, the Government has embarked on a path to change the economic prospects of the country.
Jamaicans must accept the fact that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and to change the country's situation, there must be some belt-tightening. When a government tightens its belt in tough economic times, the entire nation feels the squeeze.
This has resulted in less money to pay for the full range of government services and deep cuts in public expenditure. The sacrifices so far have been paying off, as the various rating agencies have all given the country's economic outlook positive reviews. Let's not be short-sighted or be fooled by promises of policies that will bring instant gratification.
I implore my fellow Jamaicans not to be distracted but to remain focused on holding those at the helm accountable so that our sacrifices do not go in vain. The polls are playing true to form, as there is no country in the world that imposed an austerity programme where the Government was viewed in a favourable light.
This is the price we must pay if we desire to return to economic health and growth. Hold fast.