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My view on the Throne Speech: Initiatives could cause fiscal deficit to widen

Published:Thursday | April 14, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Rochelle Johnson

The governor general, Sir Patrick Allen, outlined the initiatives for the current fiscal year 2016-17 during the reopening of Parliament yesterday.

He reiterated throughout his speech the need for partnership between both parties to facilitate economic growth and to ensure prosperity for the Jamaican people. He noted that the Government has a responsibility in restoring trust, accountability, and in rendering effective service in building hope for the people.

The Government will focus on implementing electronic registration for businesses; a trade-facilitation programme, which will assist the import-export process; human capital enterprise mobility; and the digitisation of policy records.

The Government also aims to tackle the management of waste industry, create partnerships with the public and private sectors to enhance water access, consider the disability and gender acts, implement a fixed election date, and set term limits for the prime minister, as well as explore the provision of affordable housing for middle-income workers.

The initiatives outlined are essential for growth and development in Jamaica but would cause the fiscal deficit to widen.

The speech did not mention any of the plans of the manifesto such as the tax break, minimum wage, and rebuilding tourist sites, which played a vital role in securing the election in their favour.

I would recommend that the plans should not imperil the IMF programme.

- Rochelle Johnson