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‘Consensus on fiscal management Ja’s greatest achievement in 10 years’ Loop Jamaica

Prime Minister Andrew Holness has declared that the political consensus around sustainable fiscal management to be Jamaica’s most significant achievement of the past 10 years.

Holness made the declaration during Friday’s special joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives to mark Jamaica’s 60th Anniversary of Independence.

He said the achievement which spans political administrations, started in 2010 with the fiscal responsibility framework which was later enshrined in law with the fiscal rules 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,” said the prime minister. This, he said will complement the passage of legislation to create an independent central bank.

Said Holness: “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 of high debt.”

The prime minister said he understood that many Jamaicans may not immediately feel or appreciate the benefit of sustainable fiscal management. However, 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.”

Holness said that “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.”

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“Instead, in our 60th year of political independence, we must be determined to complete our journey to full independence by achieving economic independence,” he emphasised.

He added that “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.”

The prime minister told the House and Senate that the country is already seeing the resilience in the economy with unemployment at its lowest levels in recorded history.