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They told us nothing new - Shaw

Published:Tuesday | February 12, 2013 | 12:00 AM

Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter

Opposition spokesman on Finance Audley Shaw says the Portia Simpson Miller administration has presented nothing new to the country with the exception of another debt- exchange programme.

Reacting to last night's national broadcast by the prime minister and her finance minister, Dr Peter Phillips, Shaw said the Government should have been able to drill down some specific timelines in relation to the pending agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Faced possible default

The opposition spokesman said the Government had to go the route of a second debt exchange in three years as it was faced with the possibility of a default.

"It had to come, it was either that or potential default. This month, there is a large payout of $120 billion that would become due by February 22. I think that is one of the reasons why they hastened with the debt exchange."

Shaw told The Gleaner there had to be an agreement with public-sector workers before an IMF agreement could be inked. He noted that no agreement on wages had been reached with the public sector.

He also argued that the multinationals were not satisfied with the Government's White Paper on tax reform, noting that more work was needed.