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CAPI: Wear black tomorrow against proposed ABM tax

Thursday, April 24, 2014    

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ADVOCACY group Citizens' Action for Principle and Integrity (CAPI) is urging Jamaicans to wear black tomorrow in protest against the proposed tax on bank withdrawals.

In a release yesterday the group -- led by former Jamaica Labour Party senator Dennis Meadows -- announced that it will launch an online protest against the tax, which is scheduled to be implemented on June 1.

The civic group said the tax is "oppressive, unconscionable and will prove inimical to its own growth agenda as it will send the wrong message to potential investors".

"The defensive argument being purveyed by some that this is a negligible amount and therefore will not adversely impact working-class Jamaicans is only aimed at obfuscating the issue," said the group.

"In real terms, Government is seeking to extract $2.25 billion from the overburdened taxpayers' bank accounts, this against the background that a committee now sits in Parliament deliberating on the exorbitant fees now charged by banks," the group added.

The withdrawal tax was proposed by Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips last Thursday as part of measures to plug a hole in the $540-billion budget. However, the proposal has been met with strong objection from all quarters.

Yesterday, CAPI invited the participation of churches, trade unions, and all civil society stakeholders to join in its "civil protest against a tax which will prove deleterious to the economic health of the country and family".

"Like all well-thinking Jamaicans, we support the Government's effort to reform and grow the economy, but will not lie prostrate and allow taxes to be imposed at will without consultation with critical social groups and stakeholders. In fact, the Government explicitly gave its word that they will consult with stakeholders prior to crafting any budget," CAPI said.

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