Generation 2000, the young professional arm of the Jamaica Labour Party today learned that the Fitch Rating Agency has downgraded Jamaica’s economic outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’. After careful inspection of the article it is apparent that G2K’s assessment of the failings of Minister Peter Phillips is very much in line with the reasons for the Fitch downgrade.
The Fitch article in assessing the Jamaican Economy notes, among other things:
· Sustained decline in international reserves through most of 2012 with reserves falling by USD 832 million
· That the Jamaican dollar (JMD) has come under pressure in 2012, as domestic confidence slipped due to the delay in reaching a new agreement with the IMF.
· The economy contracted by an estimated 0.5% in 2012.
“Each of these factors that have resulted in the downgrade must be attributed to Dr. Peter Phillips’ extremely poor management of the Finance and Planning Portfolio” said President of G2K, Floyd Green. ‘The Minister refused to speak frankly with the nation about the sticking points of the IMF Agreement, thus brewing uncertainty in the market; and to compound the problem has been unable to outline a strategy to stabilize the economy until an agreement is secured.” added Green.
The Organization noted that Minister Phillips has been unable to deliver on:
1. The IMF agreement within the timeline he identified;
2. A credible Tax Reform White Paper;
3 A credible plan for achieving sustainable growth, including devising and implementing appropriate fiscal policies.
The Organization added that Minister Phillips’ delays have done the country a serious disservice, resulting in increased difficulties, hardships and yet more tribulations for the Jamaican people and making him a current liability to any prospect of growth and stability for the Jamaican economy.