Opposition Spokesman on Finance Mark Golding has charged that the country is not being told the true effect of the movement in inflation despite the government reporting that it has remained in the 4% to 6% band on an annual basis.
During his contribution to the Budget Debate on Tuesday, Mr Golding said there are instances in which Jamaicans are faced with significantly higher price movements.
Those instances, he said, include the cost of basic food items, as reflected in the Fiscal Policy Paper, “signed by the (Finance) Minister”.
“In the food category generally inflation for 2017 was 6.7%; but in the sub-category – the critical areas of vegetables and starchy foods… which most Jamaicans rely on for survival, prices went up in 2017 by a frightening 16.9 per cent!”
Furthermore, he said, there had been a 13.3 per cent increase in electricity charges in 2017, “hitting people hard in their light bills.”
“The price increases in these crucial areas have been hurting most Jamaicans badly,” he declared.