The Government of Jamaica’s credit has been reduced by the Standard and Poor (S&P) to CCC-. This represents a reduction from B- in the last quarter. The fiscal deficit raced to $35 billion during the first quarter of this year, up from the $8 billion recorded during the same period of last year.
The $63 billion in revenues collected during the first quarter of this year was eight per cent below last year’s level before adjustments for inflation.
The S&P did warn the country that it was heading in the wrong direction economically and that steps are necessary to be taken to bring the budgeted expenditures in line with revenues.
The reduction in the credit rating may also be linked with the discussions between members of the Jamaican Diaspora led by a Central Florida physician, Dr. Christopher Walker, who have been in discussions with IMF officials about the role of unauthorized Ponzi schemes in the Commonwealth Caribbean and specifically the negative impact on the Jamaican economy.
The perception of the Diaspora is that the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) came to power using US$12 million dollars from the OLINT Ponzi scheme. These monies are now the subject of a Federal investigation into money laundering.
The Diaspora identified Minister of Government Daryl Vaz as being one of the main financial intermediaries between the JLP and the OLINT Ponzi scheme and Basil Waite as being the intermediary between the Peoples National Party (PNP) and OLINT.
The Diaspora called upon all the political parties in Jamaica which received money from the OLINT Ponzi scheme to return the said funds and to have this distributed equitably.
What is vitally necessary is for the current Jamaican Government to rain control over expenditures, especially public sector wages which are being concealed using clever accounting techniques.
In addition, the Government must divest themselves of programs and agencies which continue to be a financial drain on the coffers, one of the main ones being Air Jamaica.