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#BudgetDebate2019: Budget represents opportunities for all Jamaicans, Finance Minister insists

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke says that the 2019/2020 budget is one that represents economic opportunity for all and that Jamaica is moving in right direction, contrary to assertions by the Opposition People’s National party (PNP) .

The minister who is making his closing contributions to the 2019/2020 Budget Debate at Gordon House said that it is an undeniable fact that year over year; Jamaica has enjoyed 15 consecutive on broken quarters of economic growth.

“It is the longest period of economic growth that Jamaica has experienced since we started measuring growth in 1997,” he said in response to some of the Opposition’s rebuttal which included that there was slow growth in the economy.

The finance minister created a stir in the country on March7 when he announced that the Government was “giving back” $14 billion to taxpayers.

Clarke said that the Government has decided on a stimulus path on the basis that Jamaica is now in the “best shape” it has been compared to any other period in the last 50 years.

Among the revenue measures that the minister revealed in Parliament, are an increase in the General Consumption Tax (GCT) threshold to $10 million, up from $3 million ($731 million); abolition of the long controversial minimum business tax ($1.093 billion); and the abolition of the asset tax payable by non-financial institutions.

His presentation today follows that of Prime Minister Andrew Holness yesterday.

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