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JAMAICA | Opposition describes tax package as “devastating”

Featured Opposition spokesman on Finance and Planning Dr. Peter Phillips Opposition spokesman on Finance and Planning Dr. Peter Phillips
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar. 10, CMC – The main opposition People’s National Party (PNP), has described as “devastating” the J$13.52 billion (One Jamaica dollar =US$0.008 cents) tax package announced by Finance Minister Audley Shaw on Thursday.

Speaking shortly after the Finance Minister’s presentation late Thursday, the PNP’s spokesman on Finance, Dr. Peter Phillips, who was also a former Finance Minister said the package will have a devastating impact on the poor.

“It is going to be devastating in its impact particularly on the working poor. We must remember that contrary to all that they are claiming. The truth is – what they are doing, is not what they have promised. They promised to raise the threshold without a tax package,” said Phillips.

Meanwhile opposition leader Portia Simpson Miller has urged the government to roll back the tax package.

In a statement on Friday, Simpson Miller said the package is “unconscionable and a betrayal of the trust of the Jamaica people.”

The opposition leader said the package is unbearable and should be revered in order to give Jamaicans a tax break.

On Thursday, Shaw, in opening the 2017/2018 Budget Debate announced a raft of tax increases as the Government seeks to finance the budget.

The budget is an almost 20 per cent increase over the current year’s, moving from J$592.7 billion to $710 billion when it was tabled in February.

Shaw announced measures to secure funds from additional taxes, and the re-evaluation of the property tax .

The hike in taxes will stem from an increase in the special consumption tax on fuel that takes effect next week.

  • Countries: Jamaica
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