Mon | Sep 25, 2017

Phillips to talk tough today on Government's tax measures

Published:Tuesday | March 14, 2017 | 3:00 AM
Peter Phillips

Opposition Spokesman on Finance Dr Peter Phillips, who described the $13.5 billion tax package imposed by the Government as "devastating", will today respond in full to the Budget.

Phillips will make his presentation to the Budget Debate in Gordon House, perhaps for the last time as opposition spokesman on finance, as he awaits his crowning moment on March 26, when he takes the reins as president of the People's National Party and subsequently to be designated the leader of the parliamentary Opposition.

The opposition spokesman is expected to haul the Government over the coals for its tax measures, particularly on electricity, which he said would hurt pensioners and the working poor.

WORST ELEMENT

Labelling the tax on group health insurance as the worst element of the tax package, Phillips is expected to urge the administration to roll back this measure.

He stressed that this tax was severe, especially given the state of Jamaica's public-health system, which is already overburdened.

In what is expected to be a hard-hitting presentation from Phillips, the senior opposition spokesman on Sunday night used phrases such as "scam" and "cruel betrayal" to describe the tax measures announced last week by the Jamaica Labour Party government.