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Hyman rubbishes University Teachers group's primary surplus reduction proposal

Published:Friday | July 10, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Financial analyst, Ralston Hyman, has described the proposal of a set of university lecturers for the government to renegotiate the primary surplus target under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal from 7.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent as foolish.

The proposal was made yesterday by the West Indies Group of University Teachers (WIGUT), which said that reducing the target would help to ease the burden faced by Jamaicans.

WIGUT has also proposed, among other things, tying public sector wages to inflation, keeping a lid on food prices and haulting the introduction of new taxes for the next five years.

However, Hyman said the proposals lack credibility.

The financial analyst says the primary surplus target is aimed at reducing the country’s debt and to put it in a better position to pay its creditors.

He emphasised that Jamaica has a serious debt problem and the government’s economic programme with the IMF is aimed at addressing it.

Hyman says reducing the target would be counterproductive to lifting the strain of Jamaica’s debt burden.