KINGSTON, Jamaica, November 17, 2017: The Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, M.P., today, thanked the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director, Mrs. Christine Lagarde for supporting the 2013 agreement signed by the PNP led-government and the Fund. This agreement was the blueprint for Jamaica’s economic reform programme, which laid the foundation for sustained economic growth and job creation.
In her comments at the IMF’s High Level Caribbean Forum yesterday at the Pegasus Hotel, Mrs. Lagarde noted the successful implementation of the standby agreement five years ago and recalled that at the time of the rollout, very few persons thought it would have seen the tremendous level of success it achieved.
During a courtesy call paid by Mrs. Lagarde on the Opposition Leader at his West King’s House Road office, with Shadow Ministers Mark Golding, Peter Bunting, Anthony Hylton and Fenton Ferguson in attendance, Dr. Phillips reiterated his appreciation for the IMF chief’s personal role in securing the 2013 stand-by agreement that enabled Jamaica to see to the reduction in the country’s debt and the decrease in stifling tensions that gripped the nation’s financial structures.
Dr. Phillips told the IMF chief that the people of Jamaica sacrificed much to ensure the success of the programme, but shared concerns about implementation issues in the current agreement in relation to public sector transformation and lagging economic growth. He said the unabated rise in rampant criminality has been a particular drag on the economy and eroding the gains that have been made over the past years.
He said further that the benefits of any growth must be spread widely to include the provision of improved social services and enhanced quality of education for the nation’s children.
Dr. Phillips said, while the nation continues to be an example of fiscal achievement under the IMF interventions, too many of our people are not enjoying the benefits as in most cases their standards of living have fallen. Jamaica must focus on the fundamental structural impediments to growth, which will result in improved standards of living.