Lost In translation

Everyone knows by now that the IMF does not write plain English and much of what they say has to be translated for us to understand what they are really trying to say and what is the message hidden between the lines.

The language contained in the Press Release No. 15/304 of 29 June 2015 after the Second Review Under the ECF Arrangement for Grenada is no different. Outside of the celebrations by the government of Grenada and its cohorts on the receipt of a measly US $2.8 million, one has to take time off to interpret the language contained in the press release.

The following is my interpretation of what the IMF is trying to say to us.

IMF: ‘The Grenadian authorities have achieved important results in the context of their Fund-supported economic program’.

Translation: You are not running a home grown program you are running an IMF program.

IMF: ‘Fiscal targets have been exceeded.’

Translation: You have squeezed your people more than we wanted you to.

IMF: ‘Although unemployment remains elevated’.

Translation: Your unemployment level remains too high.

IMF: ‘A final round of adjustment will be needed, as planned, to
achieve the program’s fiscal targets for 2016’

Translation: There is no ease up on the horizon and you need to impose a new round of hardship in the 2016 budget as we have already agreed.

IMF: ‘An agreement on debt relief with the remaining stakeholders will be necessary to return public debt to a sustainable level.’

Translation: Your debt is still unsustainable and after two and half years of trying you still have not reached agreement with your major creditors.

IMF: ‘The comprehensive reforms include the introduction of fiscal responsibility and public debt management legislation, and reforms of the tax incentive regime and of the framework governing state-owned enterprises and other parastatal entities.’

Translation: You have been putting it off but you need to do something about those statutory bodies.

IMF: ‘These reforms should focus on lowering production costs, including in the energy sector, and improving the investment environment. Strengthening social protection programs should aim at promoting inclusive growth.’

Translation: You need to lower production cost, the cost of energy and improve your investment environment. Your growth must not only be for some people.

This is just my translation please feel free to have your own and remember of course only the writer (the IMF) really knows what they were trying to say to us.

Garvey Louison FCCA
Chartered Certified Accountant

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