Bloomberg News

Jamaica’s New Prime Minister Vows to ‘Gradually’ Reduce Debt

October 24, 2011

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Jamaica’s new Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, said his government will keep wages under control in order to borrow less and reduce the weight of the Caribbean nation’s debt.

“The truth is that we cannot continue to borrow indefinitely as a palliative for short-term gratification of social needs,” Holness said after being sworn in as Prime Minister late yesterday, according to a transcript of the speech e-mailed by the government.

Holness, a 39-year-old former education minister, vowed to implement tax reforms and reduce government spending to “gradually” lower the national debt, which currently equals 128 percent of Jamaica’s gross domestic product.

Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding announced his resignation in September following criticism of the arrest and extradition of accused drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke, who was handed over to U.S. authorities last year.

--Editors: Philip Sanders, Harry Maurer

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Sabo in Panama City at esabo1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net.


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