Jamaica Gleaner / The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) is raising concern that the uncertainty of what it describes as the protracted and incompetently handled public sector wage negotiations is putting the nation’s fiscal targets at risk.

Opposition spokesman on finance and planning Mark Golding says he notes with concern that the Statistical Institute of Jamaica has published a growth rate of 0.8 per cent for the third calendar quarter of this year.

According to Golding, this means that Jamaica has recorded an average growth rate of 0.26 per cent during the first three quarters this year.

He says it is disappointing and worrying that Jamaica is heading for a growth rate of less than one per cent for the calendar year in the second year of the government’s targeted five per cent economic growth in four years.

Golding says the uncertainty of the outcome of the wage negotiations for public sector employees is inimical to confident decision making that is necessary to drive investment and growth.

The government is locked in negotiations with rank-and-file police personnel, teachers, nurses and other public sector workers, who have signalled that they are not prepared to accept a six per cent increase over two years.

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