KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s most outstanding achievement during the last decade has been the political consensus around sustainable fiscal management and debt reduction, according to Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
Holness made the declaration Friday, during the special joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives to mark the country’s 60th anniversary of Independence.
He said the achievement started in 2010 with the fiscal responsibility framework which was later enshrined in law with the fiscal rule amendment in 2014.
“In 2021, this administration went one step further to strengthen our sustainable fiscal management by passing legislation to create another institution, an independent Fiscal Commission. This will complement the passage of legislation to create an independent central bank,” the prime minister highlighted.
He cited that, “This institution will effectively insulate our fiscal management from the vagaries of exploitative and opportunistic political forces who would want to go off on a spending frolic without regard to the effects high debt”.
The prime minister said he was aware that many Jamaicans may not immediately feel or appreciate the benefit of sustainable fiscal management. But, he argued that the economic buffers that were established as a result of good fiscal management “have enabled us to withstand back-to-back global shocks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine”.
“Having worked so hard across political administrations to build this consensus on sustainable fiscal management, we must strongly and resolutely resist any temptation to reverse course.
“Instead, in our 60th year of political independence, we must be determined to complete our journey to full independence by achieving economic independence,” he remarked.
“When the next generation looks back at this time decades from now, let them say that this was the point that Jamaica achieved a significant milestone in our development and a turning point in our economy,” Holness added.
The prime minister said the country was already seeing the resilience in the economy with record low unemployment.