“No one will be left behind. We will further expand economic activity and make the necessary investments in human capital and security to support economic expansion. This will give us the ability to do more for you in 2024.”
– Prime Minister Holness———————————————————————————
Prime Minister Holness has highlighted Jamaica’s impressive economic achievements in the face of global challenges and underscored a vision for 2024 that includes increasing productivity and ensuring prosperity for all citizens.In his 2024 New Year’s message, Prime Minister Holness said the robust economic performance experienced by Jamaica showed the country’s resilience in the wake of the global pandemic. “We have been able to undertake these transformational projects and recover strongly from the pandemic because we have been good stewards of the economy. Our economy has recorded ten consecutive quarters of positive economic growth since the pandemic, a record low unemployment rate of 4.5%, and net international reserves at US$4.5 billion as of November 2023,” stated Prime Minister Holness. He also added that the first quarter of 2023 saw a remarkable 55% increase in export earnings and a projected debt-to-GDP ratio of approximately 74% by the end of this fiscal year. Looking ahead to the prospects for 2024, Prime Minister Holness emphasized the importance of increasing productivity, calling on all Jamaicans to contribute to this collective effort: “This year, the focus will be on increasing productivity. All of Jamaica must produce more in 2024. We will seek to gain greater efficiencies in service delivery and output through greater integration of technology and business process engineering in the public service. Performance management must become the mantra for all Jamaicans, as this is how we will sustain our economic growth,” outlined the Prime Minister. In the meantime, Prime Minister Holness addressed the issue of social strife and the misconception that economic growth only benefits some individuals or groups. “I urge Jamaicans not to undervalue the importance of a strongly performing economy. There are those who will seek to create social strife and divide the country by promoting the false idea that economic growth and development benefit only some persons, social class, or region,” he noted. The Prime Minister also expressed his commitment to inclusive policies and programmes that address historical injustices and inequalities: “I am a student of history, and I am very sensitive to the historic injustices and inequalities of our society. I understand the long struggle of the poor and dispossessed and the unfulfilled promises that have jaded our outlook.” In that regard, Prime Minister Holness said, “That is why we have doubled the minimum wage, engaged young people in work readiness programmes like LIFT, introduced a social pension for elderly individuals outside the social safety net, assisted those who have lost limbs due to lifestyle diseases, and implemented a Social Housing Programme to support the economically marginalized.” The Prime Minister’s 2024 New Year’s message underscored the government’s commitment to building on past successes and ensuring that every citizen benefits from the nation’s growth by creating a fair and just society. In 2024, the Government remains committed to ensuring economic expansion and advancements in human capital and security as Jamaica works towards a future where no one is left behind.