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Gov't cuts spending but not meeting bill-payment obligations – Shaw

Published:Monday | August 5, 2013 | 1:41 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

The Opposition has reacted to the Government's cut in spending saying the Administration is slashing spending at the expense of not meeting its bill-payment obligations to suppliers and small contractors.

The Finance Ministry recently published data showing a $5.6 billion cut in spending at the end of June.

The data also showed an $830 million fall off in revenue and grants.

The Opposition spokesman on Finance, Audley Shaw, says while the level of the fall off in revenue is not cause for alarm, the government is recording a cut in spending at the expense of not paying its bills.

He claims that in several cases, the Government has exceeded the 90-day period in paying suppliers and small contractors under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme.

Shaw says phase three of the JEEP is stalled because payments to most contractors under phase two are outstanding.

He further says it is an untidy state of affairs, as the Government is not paying its bills, but celebrating that it will pass the first test under its programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) along with maintain primary surplus targets.

The spending cuts to make up the fall off in revenues have helped the Government to remain on track to meet its primary surplus target.

The Government increased the primary surplus target this fiscal year to 7.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, to be maintained until 2016-2017, as part of its debt reduction strategy and its programme with the IMF.


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