Jamaica’s Phillips: Country Must Put Debt on Downward Trajectory

Above: Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Jamaica must develop comprehensive policies aimed at putting the country on the path toward reducing its debt burden, according to Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips.

Jamaica’s debt payments were, in fact, the highest of any country in the world as a percentage of GDP in 2011.

“Let me make it clear, this is Jamaica’s problem, and not that of the IMF,” he said at the opening of the Budget Debate this week. “The bottom line is that we must set our debt as measured by its GDP firmly on a downward trajectory.”

According to the Minister, the need to improve debt policy is particularly imperative now, with international donors withholding grant assistance until a deal is worked out with the International Monetary Fund.

The aforementioned report, which was conducted by the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, found that the country’s current economic recovery was “inadequate,” in the face of its crippling debt burden.



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