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Jamaica Debt Exchange Initiative

03/07/10

Permalink 11:39:38 pm, by Melba
Categories: Business, Commentary

Jamaica Debt Exchange Initiative

The Minister of Finance,  Audley Shaw  has been quite elated at the success of the Jamaica Debt Exchange (JDX) initiative. As a direct result Jamaica’s credit rating has already gone up by the international rating agencies.  The initiative also helped to secure our position with the IMF ensuring the desperately needed loan for Jamaica. But what does the initiative really means for the people of Jamaica.

Initially we were told that in order to qualify for the IMF loan the JDX was necessary. Also Thousands of public sector workers would have to lose their jobs. Those that remained would not have a pay increase for the next two years. The General Consumption Tax (GCT) had to be increased.  New taxes would have to be introduced on items that were previously zero rated including utilities and petrol.

What we were not told was the full impact of the JDX initiative. What is the JDX you ask? Well as a lay person this is how I understand it; if you had money invested in government securities in the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) the conditions agreed initially would be changed.  The Interest rates were to be lowered and the period of investment would be longer. Now you may not have had any dealings directly with the BOJ you placed your money with your bank. Same difference, many banks in turn invest your money with the BOJ so indirectly many people were affected. Then there are the pension schemes, the stock exchange, insurance companies and all the financial entities that invest your money for you. The BOJ is supposed to be the safest places to invest.

You begin to see the picture, if you think you were not, or would not be affected by the JDX then think again. If nothing else your pension has been slashed. Already there are reports of National Commercial Bank (NCB) closing branches and laying off between 150 and 200 workers as a direct result of the JDX. This is the same bank that reported profits of 10.2 billion dollars last year 2009. How many more to come you ask?

Fellow Jamaicans ‘it no look pretty’. Daily we hear of more and more layoffs in the making. Public sector workers to start going by March 31, Air Jamaica making some 2000 persons redundant by April 12. Not to mention the fact that many private sector workers are also being sent home without much publicity. Then there are all the helpers and gardeners who will subsequently be laid off as well. I have only one question for Mr. Shaw, who will he collect taxes from when most of us gone home with no work and no money?

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Sister Mary Margaret

SISTER MARGARET MARY, WHO WORKS FOR A LOCAL HOME HEALTH AGENCY WAS OUT MAKING HER ROUNDS WHEN SHE RAN OUT OF GAS.

AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT A GAS STATION WAS JUST A BLOCK AWAY.

SHE WALKED TO THE STATION TO BORROW A CAN OF GAS TO START & THEN DRIVE TO THE STATION FOR A FILL UP.

THE ATTENDANT REGRETFULLY TOLD HER THE ONLY GAS CAN HE OWNED HAD BEEN LOANED OUT BUT IF SHE WOULD WAIT, IT WAS SURE TO BE BACK SHORTLY.

SINCE THE NUN ! WAS ON THE WAY TO SEE A PATIENT SHE DECIDED NOT TO WAIT & SHE WALKED BACK TO THE CAR. AFTER LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO FILL WITH GAS, SHE SPOTTED A BEDPAN SHE WAS TAKING TO THE PATIENT.

ALWAYS RESOURCEFUL, SHE CARRIED IT TO THE STATION & FILLED IT WITH GASOLINE, & CARRIED IT TO HER CAR.

AS SHE WAS POURING THE GAS INTO THE TANK, TWO MEN WERE WATCHING FROM ACROSS THE STREET. ONE OF THEM TURNED TO THE OTHER & SAID, "IF IT STARTS, I'M TURNING CATHOLIC".

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