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Clarke Defends JLP’s Failed 5-In-4 Growth Plan

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Source: Jamaica Gleaner


Image caption: Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke speaking at the debate on finance and the economy on August 27, 2020.

Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke has defended the Government’s failure to achieve the targeted 5.0 per cent growth in four years, arguing that the outcomes of development were attained.   

“Growth is a means to an end, and we have achieved the ends. We have achieved the ends to which our growth targets have been set, a reduction in poverty, reduction in unemployment, and increased revenue,” said Clarke as he spoke during Thursday night’s debate on finance and the economy.

But, his opposition counterpart Mark Golding described the lack of growth as reflective of the administration’s “lack of credibility”.   

Over the last three years, the economy grew by 1.0 per cent , 2.0 per cent and 0.6 per cent respectively between fiscal year ending March 2018 and March 2020. 

The gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate prior to the COVID-19 pandemic was forecast at 1.2 per cent for fiscal year ending March 2021.

The forecast was revised towards a decline of over 5.0 per cent.

Additionally, this week the Bank of Jamaica indicated that it expects a more than 7.0 per cent decline in the economy due to the impact of the pandemic.

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