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Jamaica commits to 'systematic' wage bill cut measures, says IMF

Published:Friday | December 18, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Jamaica has committed to introducing systematic measures to cut the public sector wage bill starting April 1 next year.

The IMF made the revelation in a report on Jamaica released yesterday — that's one day after it demanded concrete steps to reduce the wage bill to the targeted nine per cent of gross domestic product, GDP. 

According to the IMF, there will be a systematic effort to modernise the public sector and ultimately reduce the number of workers. 

Five measures were listed, none of which directly spoke to any massive job cuts feared by many and downplayed by the Finance Minister, Dr Peter Phillips. 

The IMF notes that the government will embark on the divestment of undisclosed public enterprises and government units, enhancement of efficiency through shared services and the modernisation of select ministries. 

Jamaica will also advance the implementation of a human resource software and prioritise government functions.

According to the IMF, significant technical work and data gathering are expected to begin soon to determine the level and distribution of employment, wages and allowances across the public sector.

Jamaica is projected to have a wage bill at 9.7 per cent of GDP for the next financial year, just outside of the targeted nine per cent.