JAMAICA Observer online readers have reacted with dismay to Government's announcement of a new $16-billion tax package on Tuesday. Addressing Parliament on Tuesday, Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips also announced that the Government would also be taking $45 billion from National Housing Trust funds. Below are some edited comments:
Call PSOJ and opposition leader to meeting Monday in the day; no new taxes discussed. National broadcast to the nation Monday night; no new taxes discussed. Tuesday afternoon: new tax package passed in Parliament. Transparency at its best.
Why is this government always taking out NHT funds? The purpose of NHT contributions is to provide home loans to persons, not for the Government to fill a hole in its budget because of its own incompetence. When and how will Jamaica ever become better when the Government has no vision, is incompetent and just plain corrupt. Corruption is at the heart and soul of everything that is wrong with Jamaica. It is not a lack of resources, not a lack of persons willing to put in the work, not a lack of talent and ability. But, sadly, Jamaicans do not seem to think they deserve better and ought to have better.
I wonder what the IMF is gonna ask for next time around? Sell our children? The finance minister thinks we are all fools. How can you say taking NHT contributions and using it for another purpose is not going to affect the agency and ordinary Jamaicans. This is a bold-face lie!
So the national horse and pony show, featuring Comrades Peter and Portia, was just that... show?
Everyone crying for an IMF deal. This is what it is going to take to make it happen. There has always been talk of a bitter medicine. Well, it has arrived. Stop kidding ourselves. We all knew this was coming, except those who chose to stick their heads in the sand. This includes Mr Holness and his motley crew. Where were his suggestions? Talking about not touching education and user fees is not putting forward solutions as to where additional revenues may be generated.
Komla, it seems to me that you have been living in a cave for the past 20 years. Let me bring you up to speed with what is going on. The JLP told the population that hard times are ahead and sacrifices are needed at every level. The PNP responded saying good times are coming we can and will fix Ja problems with JEEP. They won the election and used the taxpayers' money to buy new SUV's for the ministers, spend millions on the [Jamaica] 50 celebrations, spent millions shelling down a club in England during the Olympics. Then asked the hard-working people to take wage freeze, pay cuts and job cuts. They refuse to reduce the size of the Cabinet, reduce the size of the consultants, and refuse to take a pay cut themselves. God bless Ja; this is PNP country.
In a civilised democracy, measures would be debated in Parliament and alternatives proposed. However, Mr Secret MOU has decided to blindside the country yet again.
This country is being run like a fry fish shop, no disrespect to the fish shop. We have one of the worst tax system in the world, where paying and collecting taxes is more confusing than ever. Opening a simple bank account sometimes seem to require a lawyer and over 300 pieces of documents, and not to mention even trying to start a business. NHT funds should have been used to rebuild inner-city housing [and] getting rid of all the zinc fences surrounding the city of Kingston.