- The House of Representatives on Wednesday (May 27), approved amendments to the Financial Audit and Administration (FAA) Act to postpone Jamaica’s target of reducing debt to gross domestic product (GDP) to 60 per cent, by two years.
- In his address, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. the Hon. Nigel Clarke, pointed out that arising from the disruptions caused by the COVId-19 pandemic, Jamaica’s real GDP for financial year 2020/21 is forecast to contract by 5.1 per cent, compared to an expansion of 1.1 per cent that informed the approved Estimates of Expenditure tabled in February.
- “The fallout in real economic activity will adversely impact the public sector’s revenue stream, thereby necessitating sharp reorientation of public expenditure. At the same time, the Government must and has been responding swiftly and decisively to effectively mitigate the impact of the pandemic,” Dr. Clarke said.
- He noted that given the unprecedented fiscal burden posed by the pandemic, the Government will require more time to reduce the public debt to 60 per cent of GDP. The legislation will facilitate the extension of the timeline from March 31, 2026 to March 31, 2028.