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In March 2006, in her inaugural address, the Most Honorable Portia Lucretia Simpson-Miller, Jamaica’s first female

Prime Minister, made the following oath “I want to pledge to the Jamaican people to work tirelessly to eradicate corruption and extortion. I am committed to their eradication” (Jamaica Information Service, 2003). This assurance was the second of several goals she outlined to “facilitate change” in Jamaica. Therefore it is no surprise that corruption is a high priority on the prime minister’s agenda that must be addressed. Political corruption is defined as the mi suse of public office for private gains (Collier, 2002). It is a universal phenomenon that exists in every country in the world and affects the development of the countries economy. In the Caribbean Political corruption is very prominent. With that in mind this essay seeks to explore ways in which political leaders’ involvement in corruption affects the Caribbean economic development. First it will focus on the effect on the Caribbean economy whereby governments misuse public funding for private gains, secondly the effects on its trading relationship and investments with foreign countries and third how these corrupt political leaders are responsible for the country being in a debt. Political corruption inhibits economic growth in the Caribbean region ( Steligson, 2006 ).This is evident where our political leaders tend to mis use government spending on irrelevant projects and as a result will cause insufficient spending on projects that are deemed relevant. Also the choice of projects being made focused more on capital because it is more rewarding for the perpetrator in corruption than on manpower which would be more useful for development. Government expenditure on financing of public services will increase and will affect expenditures on education and health institutions both public and private which are both measures of indicators of development. Statistics gathered from the World Bank stated that on average, health spending by the Caribbean governments averaged 3.16% of GDP and US$220 per capita over the period 1995-2002, ranging from a high of US$550 per capita in Barbados to US$40 in Haiti. Corrupt government officials add to the risk of Caribbean countries being marginalized in the international economy and as a result can encourage negative impact on trading and investment (Tanzi and Davoodi 1997) .The limited imports and exports of goods and services can significantly affect the Caribbean economy. According to the Transparency International corruption index, 2011, the United States is the Caribbean leading trading partners and accounts for nearly forty percent of the Caribbean exports and imports. If for example the corruption rate continues to increase so that it affects trading relationship between the United States and the Caribbean, Most Caribbean economies such as Trinidad, Jamaica and Guyana whose nation derives most of its revenues from oil, bauxite /alumina, sugar and rice, will be will be severely affected in terms of generating revenues .A significant merchandise trade

Countries for example such as Jamaica are presently in a borrowing relationship with International Monetary Fund. to obtain credit at below market interest rates. Business Investments in the Caribbean can be affected by fear of business to invest in the country due to corrupt government officials( Shlifer and Vishny. On the other hand Corruption can also increase investment opportunities. Haiti for example is one of the poorest countries in the world and currently one of the most corrupt countries in the world (Transparency International corruption index. to have access to raw materials at state subsidized prices. The answer to this problem is simply to ask why do many of our political leaders whom citizens have trusted and given the responsibility of managing the welfare of their country are so corrupt.deficit will be established that can result in a large-scale unemployment and underemployment. also undermines competition in an economy therefore affecting its productivity . The fact that the countries are in a debt will also discourage investors where countries might have to increase tax to help reduce the debt.2011). to acquire scarce foreign exchange or collude with tax collectors to reduce tax payments. 2011). Imports will also be limited to gain enough revenues and will therefore cause unemployment to be on a rise. A recommendation is a review in the corporal punishment on corruption. 1993) . they do not have any systems of repayment.Political corruption is a very serious problem that does not only exist in the Caribbean countries but in the world. The most alarming thing that is presently absent in most researches. (Jamaica Observer. This essay highlights corruption by our political leaders in the Caribbean which severely affects the countries economy. indeed in many developing countries firms sometimes pay bribes to win a lucrative government contract. Most likely countries will tend to borrow money or purchase bonds to ease the financial crisis and at the same time are unable to generate enough revenues from taxes because of its small budget .This can cause Caribbean countries having a financial crisis. . Increasing government expenditure as a result of low investments will reduce the budget deficit and increase tax on services on products that raises the cost of goods and service affecting the nations capital income. Corruption is a crime and despite the many anti-corruption measures which have been implemented over the years corruption is still prevalent and persistent in all government institutions.The money borrowed will generate interest .This can reduce opportunity for job employment for well needed citizens and tax that could be collected to pay its public workers. books and articles that was read during the preparation of this essay is that there is no harsh punishment for corrupt political officials that are caught being involve in corruption.

).org/intal/ intalcdi/PE/2009/02799. public investment and growth:International Monetary Fund.pp.Choy A . T.United States of America: Harvard College. Retrieved from http://www.htm .R..Jamaica Observer.(2011. A. Nashville.ministers. (2002).Corrution. Financial euphoria. Collier.Retreived from .V &Davoodi. Corruption and democracy in Guyana. In M.(1997)Corruption .Washington DC.June 29). &Vishny . The Effects of Political Corruption on Caribbean Development.(1993).gov. Retrieved from http://www.M. In The grabbing hand:Government pathologies and their cures(chapter 5). (2006). (2011).Transparency international corruption index/2011. Coruption index. (2006). corruption and economic collapse.jis. The Political Culture of Democracy in Guyana ( http: www. books.Mitchell (Eds.H.pdf Shilfer.64-84).jm/full/url/ Steligson. Tanzi. Inaugural address by the Most Honorable Portia Lucretia Simpson-Miller. Bynoe .jm/.Retrieved from http://www.A2.Reference Bernal ./-PMspeeches-inaugural-address.Tenessee: Vanderbilt University.