THERE are mounting criticisms from Jamaica Observer online readers of the Government's announcement of a second debt exchange, which requires financial institutions and domestic bond holders to take a cut on interest. The announcement was made Monday night by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Minister of Finance and Planning Peter Phillips during a joint telecast. A similar debt-reduction programme happened three years ago under the previous Jamaica Labour Party Government. Here are some edited comments from our readers.
All now me no hear nothing about produce and export it's all about borrowing, borrowing and more borrowing.
Clearly, we are in a deep hole and each of us must play his and her part to save our country from plunging over the fiscal cliff. I have been working since 1983 and successive governments have asked me to make personal financial sacrifices and take wage freezes in the national interest promising that if I did the country's economic prosperity would be guaranteed. Foolishly, I did believe the lie. Regrettably, over the decades, my financial security has actually worsened, and truth be told, it has steadily deteriorated -- not because I have not been financially prudent but because our governments have been inept and self-serving. For too long they have squandered our resources and in too many cases have put partisan party interest over the national good. God help us this time.
@Godfrey Fisher: God only help those who help themselves; the middle class has long been a strong supporter of the PNP, despite their incompetence and ineptitude in running the affairs of the country.
Can someone remind me why Jamaicans voted in the PNP? This flip-flopping party says one thing in Opposition and turns around and does the exact opposite. Given Dr Davies' strident position back then, is this suicide? Dr Davies, you said under the PNP there has never been a default, do you consider this another default? Now this JDX#2 was going to be always on the card in any IMF programme, but it's the pension funds and we are bearing the burden. Where is the reduction in consultants, where is the merger of ministries, where are the salary cuts? Yes sir, the PNP is really the best party to ruin Jamaica (pun intended).
I asked once about a year ago: Other than Dudus, what could Mr Golding do different? What would the Comrades do differently if they came forward to power?
Let's see another default, but an even worse performance (than Mr Golding), so far on the economy, crime and currency and inflation.
Smart people can analyse and see that the JLP performs better where the economy is concerned, but the problem is that most J'cans are NOT smart. After 18 years of the PNP, there was no significant economic growth, yet they were given the reins again. The JLP knows how to hold the dollar at a steady rate, but J'cans didn't stop to consider this at the ballot.
I wonder how many people in the larger populace understand terms like "haircut" other than going to the barber shop? Remarks should be clearly explained for all to understand... seems like the medicine is still being disguised and not forthcoming.
When GOJ was buying high-end vehicles, while [the] majority of us cannot even afford a patty pan, were you thinking about poor people? Is this Government so brain dead that all it can do is to increase taxes every time it is in a crisis? Isn't it financial suicide when you keep asking people to sacrifice more when you cannot freeze the cost of goods and services? I can put my life on the line that five to 10 years from now, Jamaicans will be no better while these clowns retire with pensions that are out of this world. This is probably one of the few countries where being employed is a disadvantage. There are young persons in this country, who are not beggars, who are willing to work hard to realise their dreams of affording the basic necessities of life. I am so sick and tired of these incompetent and morally bankrupt politicians that every time I hear or see one, I want to vomit.
The only thing I can say is that Jamaica is like a ship on the ocean with a broken compass and a set of CAPTAINS with no navigating skills. I hope this is not Titanic 2, because if it is then the final word is... DOOM.
The prime minister said "there is absolutely no room for non-performance". When will we, the taxpayers, be getting a report card on the performance of our members of Parliament? We should be able to identify what they are doing, but just in case they are working behind the scenes, the report cards will inform us. Let us implement that one shred of transparency and then we might be able to hold our public servants accountable.
Enos Anderson, I am in total agreement with you. I hope the PM's staff sees this comment of yours. That will be the leading limb of accountability and even a canvas for and against the people paid by us, some of whom do nothing but behave in a manner to wreck the country.
My Grandma always like to say "yuh know sinting hot mih". Someone had to pay for things [like] "run wid it" and the finsac-ing of our engines of productivity. In some countries, this kind of behaviour is considered impeachable, and yet here we are; same faces, same solutions while our pensioners, teachers and savers are faced with more MOUs and JDXs. I have not been around as long as many here but the "cawn unda wih foot" is our tribalistic politics, which perpetually encourage our intellectual dishonesty. We ran an election hinged on the IMF deal, the supposedly long-ended global financial crisis and the cruel and [uncaring] government, yet here we are rubbing on the same remedy a year later.
@skriftlig: Correction. We ran an election hinged on JEEP... just sayin'.
Again we're hearing the implementation of more committees and even more consultants. So in reality, whatever savings we make with JDX 2, will certainly disappear since there are no anti-corruption laws.
I hate politicians.
Most of these people who are commenting and being cynical didn't listen or read Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips' address to the nation last night. And the Observer is a contributing factor, based on the headlines and the article itself. The debt exchange is an attempt by the Government to reduce the debt. The debt now stands at over 140 per cent of the nation's GDP -- a figure the Administration wants to move to 95 per cent within seven years.
The prime minister said there is no room for non-performance. I hope she sees today's (yesterday's) Observer cartoon.
The "haircut" part is a pre-req for a Greek-style bailout. Maybe we are onto something. The Debt/GDP ratio should fall to 109 per cent in seven years. Let's hope they are not gonna back load it all into the last two years. Hope they tell the people what is the expected ratio after each of the seven years.