Terms such as ‘primary surplus’ and ‘fiscal space’ were replaced with ‘spending more than you earn’ and ‘financial well-being of a government’ as Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) co-chairman Keith Duncan went On The Corner in the rural St Andrew community of Maryland last Thursday.

According to Duncan, EPOC will be going On The Corner in various communities to educate residents about the Government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of an effort to ensure that the entire country is united around achieving the goals.

“We really want to get people understanding that there is a plan,” said Duncan.

“We really need to have the dialogue so people can know what is going on in their country – that there is a plan, there is a vision, that there is hope.

“We will try and really bruck it down so people can get an understanding of what we want to achieve as a country. And I think it is important that we have these kinds of sessions with people so they can ask the questions. We want to make it simple and relate it to people’s day-to-day life so that we can make a connection,” added Duncan.

Grateful For Opportunity

Maryland resident Everton Knight, who is trying to build his small mason business, was grateful for the opportunity to ask questions of Duncan on what there are opportunities, in the current IMF programme which will allow him to achieve his goal.

“It has helped me to better understand,” said Knight.

“I like that they came in the community and we were able to ask questions. It is a long time we really haven’t had anything like this in the community, and this gave us hope that something can really happen for us.

“One of the key things that they said was the importance of stabilising the dollar and how to help the farmers and business people to start from small businesses to larger businesses,” added Knight.

Joel Ferguson was delighted that the EPOC, which is responsible for monitoring the targets agreed with the IMF and advising the country about the developments, took time out to visit his community.

But Ferguson wanted even more as he questioned how the IMF deal would benefit the Maryland community.

“I wanted it to be a little more basic in terms of how it benefits rural-area people,” said Ferguson.

“Most people here don’t know what economic growth means or what it means for a community. If the economy grows, jobs will come, and a lot of things will change. But this was good, and I hope they will come back.”

[Source: The Gleaner]