Generation 2000 (G2K), the young professional affiliate of the Jamaica Labour Party, has expressed deep concern about the Jamaican Dollar passing the JM$100 to US$1.00 mark, making it the first time in history that the Jamaican Dollar has been worth less than 1 US cent.
“The continued depreciation of the value of the Jamaican Dollar at this alarming pace is having a devastating impact on all Jamaicans, especially the poor and the middle class. Since January, the massive depreciation in the dollar’s value has been accompanied by noticeable increases in the prices of basic food items and energy costs, which if allowed to continue unchecked, will soon become an unbearable burden on the Jamaican people”, said Floyd Green, president of G2K.
The Organization noted that the failure and obvious inability of key Ministers of the Government to craft and implement a growth agenda is at heart of the continued depreciation of the dollar and stated that at a time when growth should be given the highest priority:
- The Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Peter Phillips, has not presented the country with a credible growth plan, therefore fostering an environment that breeds speculation, panic and uncertainty.
- The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, A J Nicholson, is mute and ineffective as an advocate for Jamaican Businesses abroad that earn foreign exchange and strengthen the Jamaican dollar;
- The Minister of Industry Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton is seemingly completely lost and unprepared for the upcoming opening of the Panama Canal; an opportunity that could strengthen the economy and rapidly create jobs.
G2K further added that the situation is compounded by the Prime Minister’s failure to lead her Government along the path of sacrifice sharing. While the average Jamaican household is forced to tighten its belt, the Country continues to be burdened the with an oversized Cabinet, wasteful expenditure on consultants, luxury vehicles and no ends of trips and retreats paid for by the Jamaican taxpayers.