The Government is confident it will be able to begin implementation of the proposed public sector compensation review in April 2022, this is according to Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. Nigel Clarke.

The public sector compensation review is expected to improve the structure of salaries and other payments in the civil service to make it fairer. Dr. Clarke emphasized that the Government’s strategic plan concerning the economic shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is to ensure it does not worsen further crises.

Dr. Clarke said this optimism is based on the positive economic outturns reported for the first seven months of the 2021/22 fiscal year, relative to projections by entities such as the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) and Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).

The Minister noted that previously it was forecasted for economic output to expand in 2021 by between seven and 10 percent. However, he sought to point out that in the first quarter; that is from April to June, the expansion was 14.2 percent.

He noted that following a 10 percent 2020 calendar year contraction and nearly 11 percent 2020/21 fiscal year decline, due to the economic fallout resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic which caused, among other factors, a significant decrease in government revenue inflows.

Dr. Clarke said the recovery rate currently increases the possibility that Jamaica could rebound to achieve pre-COVID levels of economic output, faster than was originally projected when the pandemic began, by the end of fiscal year 2022/23.

Minister Clarke said one of the aims of the exercise is to ensure the Government’s expenditure envelope is flexible enough to respond and provide support and resources to the Ministry of Health and Wellness, among other areas, without jeopardizing overall macroeconomic stability.

Representatives of the Ministry, headed by Dr. Clarke, and the JCTU, led by President, Helene Davis Whyte, who is also General Secretary of the Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers (JALGO), signed the agreement.