Mon | Aug 21, 2017

JGRA wants meeting with Shaw to discuss fuel tax

Published:Tuesday | March 14, 2017 | 3:38 PM

The Jamaica Gasolene Retailers Association (JGRA) has requested an urgent meeting with Finance Minister Audley Shaw to discuss the new taxes on fuel.

It said the tax will not enhance growth in the economy and was onerous on motorists and people in general.

The tax was imposed as part of the revenue measures Shaw announced when he opened the 2017/18 Budget debate in Parliament last week.

In a release, the JGRA said the additional taxes will increase the working capital required by retailers to do business and increased prices will reduce sales volumes, business and profitability for all gas station operators.

In addition, it said, the fuel tax will be passed on to consumers and will affect motorists directly as well as non-motorists through the distribution chain, transportation costs, and Jamaica Public Service bill.

“One of our major trading partner groups, taxi operators, have had to suffer through high gas prices and now they have a break with lower prices they should be allowed to benefit from lower fuel prices which will allow them to retool and profit from their business,” the JGRA said.

“We feel that a meeting with the minister and all stakeholders, especially the JGRA, is imperative to look at what the impact of this new tax measure will bring,” it added.

“If progress and growth is the objective of this government, then there should be a freeze on this new tax measure until we have had discussions.”

mcpherse.thompson@gleanerjm.com