WASHINGTON (CMC) – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) says it will support a US$3 million technical cooperation project to help the government of Haiti test different renewable energy solutions with the goal of expanding rural electrification.
The Washington-based financial institution said Haiti has t ...more »
It is disgraceful that Jamaica has to be held with the proverbial knife to its throat, and against its political will by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to do the structural things that will help to pull our economy from the brink of total collapse and set us on a path to sustainable economic growth.
The IMF is insisting that the government should reduce the wage bill of the public sector and make it more efficient. It should also make civil servants contribute to their pensions and improve the way in which government collects taxes. This is not news to successive governments; we know that these things are inevitably necessary. It has been a consensus among our respective experts in and out of government that these things are to be done if we are going to make any headway in fixing our economic problems.
For political reasons we have been kicking the can down the road. Our bloated appetite to borrow and spend with wild abandon has once again brought us to our knees as professional mendicants begging the world to loan us more money to feed our uncontrollable addiction. While the mendicancy virus has spread across the country, as Jamaicans have hit an all-time high of professional begging, the IMF is standing between us and a deadly overdose. They are forcing us to stand on sturdy legs by becoming fiscally responsible and structurally efficient.
The sad news however, is that the people, through a protracted delay, have been led to believe that the IMF deal is a panacea. It is the answer to our entire problem. Getting the seal of approval from the IMF is important and I hope a deal will be reached soon. No doubt, it will be hailed as a political success for the government. The euphoria of such a victory will distract us from our fundamental problems and we will end up right here again in short order. Whenever you are forced to do the right thing it will just be a matter of time before you mess up again.
The fact that the government has to be dragged kicking and screaming to the altar of correction should be worrying to all well-thinking Jamaicans, regardless of political affiliation. A culture of waste and dependency provide fertile soil for a cycle of economic crisis. We do not need a lull, we need an end!
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