Prime Minister Bruce Golding said that the government’s fiscal measures to stabilize the value of the dollar show early positive signs.
“As part of the measures that we used to arrest the slide of the dollar, interest rates had to go up. I indicated that as soon as we were able to stabilize the exchange rate we would do everything possible to encourage a reduction in interest rates and I was very pleased at the treasury bill offering that went out came in with a reduction in interest rate of 2%. We are doing everything possible to ensure that this is the start of a gradual reduction in interest rates,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Golding reported this on his monthly radio programme, Jamaica House Live last night. Speaking on budget priorities, the Prime Minister said that there are social programmes where every effort will be made not to reduce expenditure.
“We cannot reduce the money that we are spending to support the police and to fight crime. We cannot reduce the money that we are spending on education, because that is the future and if we cannot secure the future of our children.
We cannot reduce the expenditure that we are spending on health care….we can’t reduce the expenditure on critical social programmes like PATH (Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education),” said Prime Minister Golding.
Speaking on creating an environment for the economy to grow, the Prime Minister highlighted tax collection as an area of focus to help prepare the economy for a rebound.
“There are too many people out there who are not paying taxes and there are plenty people out there who are paying too much taxes and we are going to level that field.”