Over the next two years, Jamaica is likely to attain debt levels lower than any time in the last 50 years, says Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke.
“We have to keep on the trajectory to get there, but if we keep on it, we are likely to get to a point where debt levels are lower than any point in the last 50 years,” he said.
The minister noted that the 30-year odyssey of the Financial Sector Adjustment Company (FINSAC), and the longer arc of high debt over a 50-year period have taught the country a lesson that “it is easy to put debt on and very hard to take it off,” adding that a “single policy can add mountains of debt”.
“What that does is strangle the chances of generations, as servicing interest on top of interest over half a century has robbed generations of opportunities for a better life. And high debt has made economic crises worse, economic shocks more severe and has reduced the fiscal space and flexibility needed to respond to economic shocks,” he stated.
FINSAC is an entity that was established by the Jamaican Government to address the financial sector crisis in the 1990s.
He noted that this has forced Jamaica into lengthy, decades-long periods of economic recovery that have impeded the country’s social, economic and national development.
Clarke was closing the 2023-24 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (March 21).
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