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Trade unionist supports private sector doubts about current IMF deal

Published:Tuesday | September 10, 2013 | 1:52 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

Trade unionist, Danny Roberts, says the doubts expressed publicly by the private sector about the success of Jamaica’s programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are critical to preventing complacency.


Last week, non-public sector members of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee revealed that sections of the private sector believe the current deal could derail.

The failed deal under the previous administration and the current economic challenges were singled out as reasons for the doubts.

Roberts, who is head of the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Education Institute, says he wholeheartedly supports the view.

He argues that it is important that a signal is sent, communicating that Jamaica’s economic solutions are more than passing quarterly IMF tests.

Roberts says beyond the tests, stakeholders have to ensure the sustainability of gains.

The trade unionist says as Jamaica’s programme with the IMF progresses, there will be further contractions due to cuts in Government spending which will impact on economic growth and make it even harder to pass future tests. 

In order to meet IMF targets for the first quarter review ending June, the Government slashed spending by almost $6 billion.

Public commentator, Dr Garnett Roper has disagreed with the private sector, labelling the comments as political.

He argued that it was unfair for the private sector to use the failed IMF deal under the previous Jamaica Labour Party administration to judge the likely performance of the current programme.

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