Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke has announced that the rate of poverty has fallen significantly to a six year low of 17%.
In a statement to Parliament today (22 May), Dr Clarke noted that the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions shows that poverty fell from 21.2% for calendar year 2015 to 17.1% in calendar year 2016, a fall of four percentage points which represents a dramatic 19% decline in the incidence of poverty, the largest annual reduction in 10 years.
The data is disaggregated into Rural, Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) and Other Towns. He stated that the incidence of "rural poverty", as reported, declined from 28.5% in calendar year 2015 to 2016, a fall of eight percentage points representing a 30% drop in the incidence of rural poverty.
He also stated that poverty in the KMA fell from 14.3% in 2015 to 11.9% in 2016. This poverty rate in Kingston is the lowest since 2008. "These
significant declines in poverty are consistent with rising employment, low inflation and the sharp 12% jump in agricultural outputs in 2016, relative to
2015," Dr Clarke said.
Stating that this is great news for the people of Jamaica, the Minister stated that the Government, led by Prime Minister Andrew Holness is serious about the reduction of poverty having increased the allocation to school feeding through PATH by 47%, and with its focus on job creation. "This
emphasized the opportunity and the need to reprioritize spending as a percentage of our budget, away from compensation and interest which comprise 70% of total spending, and towards poverty alleviation, social support and growth inducing activities. By doing so we improve the lives of all Jamaicans," the Minister emphasised.
For further information contact:
Communication & Public Relations Branch
Ministry of Finance and the Public Service
30 National Heroes Circle
Tel: (876) 932-4656/4660/4655
Contact: Elaine Oxamendi Vicet/Kadisha Sharp