Thu | Dec 5, 2019

Tax measures devastating, says Phillips

Published:Friday | March 10, 2017 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell
Dr Peter Phillips (left), opposition spokesman on finance, speaks with Audley Shaw, minister of finance and public service, before the start of the 2017-2018 Budget Debate at Gordon House in Kingston yesterday.

Opposition Spokesman on Finance Dr Peter Phillips said that the revenue measures announced yesterday by the Government would have a devastating impact on the working poor in Jamaica.

"Contrary to all that they are claiming, the truth is, what they are doing is not what had been promised because they had promised that they could have raised this threshold without a tax package," Phillips said.

Phillips told The Gleaner that the tax measures, particularly on electricity, would hurt pensioners and persons earning minimum wage.

He also raised concerns about transport operators, who will now face increased fees and gas prices while having to maintain the current transportation rates.

"It is also a very devastating tax in its impact," he added.

Phillips suggested that the administration was less than forthright on the issue of sourcing funds from the National Housing Trust to finance the budget.

"The prime minister said up to three days ago that they would not. I only make one point: What reliance can we place on the word of the Government, even with this budget, when they made such heavy weather originally, and they have confused the public and were not transparent?" Phillips added.