Prime Minister Andrew Holness and the Jamaican delegation to CARICOM has refused to squander scarce resources on institution in pathetic CARICOM it has been reported.
It’s understood that the Jamaican delegation told Regional leaders that Jamaica could not afford to pay money into the Caribbean Development Fund (CDF) because of its tight fiscal space.
CARICOM sources say Prime Minister Andrew Holness stormed out a meeting at the 40th Annual Heads of Government summit in Castries, St. Lucia on Thursday.
Mr. Holness apparently disagreed with his regional colleagues on the position adopted on the contribution to be made by the so-called developed countries of CARICOM.
The Prime Minister indicated that Jamaica has financial issues to deal with and noted that a decision had been made some years ago that the country would not be part of the second tranche payment to the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF).
The CDF is mandated to provide financial or technical assistance to disadvantaged countries, regions and sectors in CARICOM. Informed sources say Jamaica is questioning the accuracy of report of previous meetings on the matter.
Jamaica’s position is reportedly to opt out of making a contribution to the CDF at this time.
However, some Caribbean countries such as Barbados, Trinidad and Tobag, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Kitts-Nevis contend that Jamaica cannot opt out and that it is an obligation of each member by way of treaty.
It’s understood that after the intervention of other CARICOM heads including Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, Prime Minister Holness went back to the meeting and indicated that Jamaica would not adjust its position.
But, may have another look at the issue in the future
Further, sources say that the other Caribbean countries argue that if Jamaica cannot pay at this time, they should acknowledge that they owe and make it a debt payable.
However Sources in CARICOM says because of Jamaica’s refusal to commit more funds, that the issue is for the time being considered settled.