Priorities in Jamaica’s budget will see the Government allocating some $830 billion for the fiscal year 2021/2022. This budget would be some $20 billion less than the last fiscal year.
Finance Minister, Dr. Nigel Clarke, says the Government will focus its spending on rebuilding the social and economic components of the country, with emphasis on a vaccination plan under the Serve Jamaica Programme.
Dr. Clarke says this is a $60 billion programme financed mainly by the central bank.
Additionally, Dr. Clarke says although he’s expecting a financial contraction for the next five quarters, he believes the economy will undoubtedly recover thereafter.
The Serve Jamaica response will also focus on infrastructure, repairing the country’s roads damaged by storms last year and the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH).
Also, Dr. Clarke adds that despite major job losses, local public sector workers were shielded from the worst.
The Government has sought to push back a raise in pay for public sector workers by another fiscal year.
Meanwhile, Economist, Ralston Hyman says though he believes there is still room for the Government to borrow more money to push the Serve Jamaica Programme to $100 billion, he believes taking the $33 billion was strategic.