This shocking revelation has come to light in Ministry Paper No. 50 (headed “Cabinet Agenda Issues”) dated 10th June 2019, which was tabled in Parliament this week Tuesday 30th July, 2019.
Opposition Spokesman on Finance Mark Golding notes that the main increases in the poverty rate have occurred in the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA) and other towns.
After recording declines for four consecutive years, the KMA had the largest increase in poverty in 2017, with mean per capita consumption declining in real terms by a startling 30.0%.
Golding observed that “It is clear that the additional indirect taxes of over $30 billion imposed by the JLP Government to pay for their “1.5” election gimmick has worsened poverty in Jamaica. The Opposition warned that this would happen, he declared."
"Low income wage-earners, unemployed, pensioners and micro business operators, who were already existing on the edge of survival, have been made to bear these additional taxes, while receiving no benefit from the election income tax break," Golding continued.
"This poverty data show that by skewing tax policy sharply towards greater indirect taxation, the JLP Government has perpetrated an act of economic injustice on the people. In a country marked by wide income and wealth inequality like Jamaica, and lacking an inadequate social safety net for the poor and vulnerable, this outcome was entirely predictable," the opposition spokesman said.
"It is shameful that this Government’s economic policy is producing greater poverty at a time when the country’s economic fundamentals have been improving steadily since 2013,” Golding concluded.
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