Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Planning, Growth and Economic Development, Audley Shaw, today said that the Finance Minister Hon. Dr. Peter Phillips has done precious little in his press conference to clear up what is emerging as a debacle in securing an agreement with the IMF.

Mr. Shaw said that after a fifth Cabinet Retreat which reported that all prior actions for an agreement has been met, the Finance Minister has now admitted that the promised deadline for a March agreement will not be met and he hopes for an agreement “as soon as possible”.

Mr. Shaw said that this latest state of confusion in the management of the economy is compounded by the lack of transparency in a reported private debt exchange and the mystery surrounding discussions taking place with other multilateral institutions.

Mr. Shaw said that urgent action must now be taken by the government to secure an agreement and restore confidence in the economy, stop the decline in the value of the dollar, halt sharply rising prices and job losses which are increasing by the day.

Mr. Shaw also called on the Prime Minister The Most Hon. Portia Simpson-Miller, to assert herself and take control of her government that is now drifting like a helmless vessel in confusion and leaving the people of Jamaica in a state of panic and bewilderment.



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  1. THE EDITOR, Sir:


    In order to progress, societies must adopt new technologies and innovate. Innovation is a key element of growth in the knowledge based economy. According to the OECD ”innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved (good or service), process new marketing method or a new organisational method in business practices, workplace organisation or external relations.” Investment in knowledge has grown more rapidly than investment in machinery in most OECD countries since the 1990s. According to a recent study a 50 percent increase in the innovation productivity in Asian has increased the world growth rates by about 3 percent. Jamaica must develop a culture of innovation and research to remain competitive. Therefore, an institutional framework must be created in order to facilitate this new culture. Public Sector Reform will result in the closure of inefficient state entities; thus making way for new ones like an Agency For Science, Technology and Innovation. This organisation will be responsible for transforming Jamaica into a world class scientific research hub. ASTI will also consist of a promotional arm to attract top scientists from the region and Asia. Furthermore, the agency will oversee research institutes in areas like: biotechnology, agro-processing, information and communication technology and chemical engineering. ASTI’S Commercialisation department will promote the institutes’ research capabilities and facilitate the efficient transfer of new technologies to industry; thereby ensuring that new technologies conceptualized by researchers are commercially exploited to create products and services. Jamaican companies will become globally competitive and more high skilled jobs will be created; resulting in higher levels of productivity and gdp growth. In addition, an innovation consortium should be encouraged to strengthen the linkage between academia and industry. In an innovation consortium, at least two companies collaborate with research and knowledge institutions on a research and innovation project. The partnership will develop new knowledge and technologies which will be beneficial to both parties and improve living standards. Public funds will cover the expenses of research institutions,companies will fund their part of the project. The government should also partner with multilateral institutions to create Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation. These centres will place a special focus on SMEs; by providing them with cutting edge technology, training and market intelligence. This will make them more competitive and enhance the internationalization process of SMEs. Additionally, companies in the private sector should be encouraged to create VET Centres of Excellence. For example in Sweden, the Karlstad Technology Centre plays an important role in ensuring a qualified workforce for the pulp and paper technology industry. The centre offers workforce development programmes as well as a two year vocational programme. This initiative has benefited the 200 companies which are apart of the industry significantly by providing them with an innovative workforce. The IMF agreement is only a facilitator of development not a panacea for growth. Lastly, the prime minister does not know how to run a country; so she should resign like the pope.

    Lipton Matthews

  2. Brian

    Another politician running his mouth, but did very little to nothing which lead to no economic growth when his party was the government.

  3. Noel Richards

    I have to admit that I like Audley “Man a Yaad” Shaw.

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