The Jamaican Government has announced an intention to spend $60 billion in order to stimulate the struggling economy. The spending includes money to vaccinate up to 2 million people and to improve Wifi for schools and in communities.
The budget tabled in parliament recently signals the Government’s plans to spend $830 billion in the next fiscal year. The sum is lower by $20 billion than the amount to be spent by the end of March this year, but it is only down because the country will be spending less on debt repayment up to the end of the fiscal year.
The finance minister said the economy was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, that led to 5 consecutive quarters of contraction and an expected fall out of almost 12% of GDP, recovering quickly is the focus.
Serve Jamaica Program
$133 billion will be furnished by the Bank of Jamaica which is the bulk ok of the money, it is taken out of the bank’s profits.
Under the serve Jamaica program, $10.5 billion will be used at the Ministry of Health, that will allow for $6 billion to be used for vaccines, 2 million Jamaicans should receive the vaccine and this will allow the population to reach herd immunity by this time next year, based on the size of the population.
$31.1 billion for improved infrastructure, $8 billion will be used to widen roads putting in dual carriage ways, $5 billion will be spent on businesses affected by covid, $0.9 billion for a new police divisional headquarters in Westmoreland, $17.7 billion will be spent to southern coast highway, for dual carriage way, putting on side-walks across Jamaica, $1.5 billion to go to farm roads, $15.5 billion was set aside for path.
$1.2 billion for the Montego Bay by pass, $1.8 billion for Wifi in schools and communities particularly in rural Jamaica.
$5 billion will help businesses affected by the pandemic, an additional $8 million for social spending
All this spending in addition to other budgetary spending, it is expected to push the Jamaican economy ahead of the pre-covid level. As the economy is expected to experience a 5% growth this year and 6% the year after.
Check out the news report below.