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#BudgetDebate2019: JLP tax plan worsening inequality in Jamaica — Golding

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Opposition People's National Party (PNP) Spokesman on Finance and Planning Mark Golding has hit out against the government's tax policy saying that it is worsening inequality in the country.

Golding who was making his contribution to the 2019/2020 Budget Debate this afternoon at Gordon House said the Jamaica Labour Party administration is reaping the good works of the previous administration, while at the same time argued that: "This is the most regressive tax system in Jamaica in my living memory."

Golding said that while the government's tax plan would incentivise housing developers and people seeking mortgages it left out the majority of Jamaicans.

He reasoned that the administration could have, for example, reduced the GCT rate from 16.5 per cent, in order to benefit more people.

“The indirect taxes on consumption and fuel are a load on the backs of the majority of the people, while the more economically advantaged are privileged in carrying less and less of the load. That nuh fair, minister,” Golding told the House.

Golding was responding to last week's budget presentation by Minister of Finance & the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, who created a stir in the country when he announced that the Government was “giving back” $14 billion to taxpayers.

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

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