Officials: Jamaica closer to finalizing IMF deal

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — The finance minister of debt-burdened Jamaica says negotiations to forge a new agreement with the International Monetary Fund are nearly complete.

But Peter Philips says there must be a framework for taxes, public sector wages and other matters before a deal is finalized.

Philips declined to provide many specifics at a Monday press briefing, but said there must be "sacrifice from all sectors of the society" to achieve economic stability.

Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller's government has been criticized for not keeping citizens better informed of the status of the IMF bargaining.

On Monday, she said the Cabinet recently signed off on all fiscal consolidation matters to forge a new IMF deal. Simpson Miller says the Cabinet is determined to protect the most vulnerable Jamaicans while pursuing economic growth.

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