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Financial News

Sep 2009 Financial News

PM signals Gov't cuts

Sep 30, 2009

Jobs to go, agencies will be eliminated, others merged.

Declaring that it is time for Jamaica to make a paradigm shift, Prime Minister Bruce Golding early this morning outlined his administration's plan for changes in the size and function of government that, he said, will lead to greater efficiency and reduced costs.

The plan, Golding told a marathon sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of Parliament, will involve job cuts, including positions in the Cabinet. However, he did not say how many of the public sector's 117,000 positions would be affected.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding arrives at Gordon House last night for the Standing Finance Committee meeting. (Photo: Garfield Robinson)

He pointed out that the total cost of the government establishment is $157 billion, but said that that doesn't include the cost of providing services.

Golding, though, was clear that the public sector "wage bill burden cannot be sustained" and as such the administration had no choice but to trim the size of Government.

"Some departments and agencies will have to be eliminated," said the prime minister. "Some will have to be merged."

He gave as justification for this proposal the fact that functions are duplicated in some government departments and added that many of the forms that are now required to do business with the Government will be consolidated.

Golding also said that agencies, such as the Registrar General's Department and the Firearm Licensing Authority that charge fees will be required to fund their own operations.

The prime minister also said that a full programme of tax reforms will be rolled out in the next financial year and reiterated his administration's commitment to the establishment of a central treasury management body.

Jamaica Observer
Wednesday, September 30, 2009