Govt three budgets late with no new taxes - Golding
Opposition Spokesperson on Finance Mark Golding yesterday dismissed the Government's announcement that there would be no new taxes for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, stating that it is three Budgets late with the move.
In his maiden Budget Debate presentation, Golding said the People's National Party had created a framework to eliminate new taxes prior to leaving office in 2016. He described the Government's implementation of its campaign promise to raise the income tax threshold to $1.5 million as a "scam", based on consequent indirect taxation through general and special consumption taxes.
"It is particularly painful that those who bought into the announcement of the so-called '1.5' and the promise of $18,000 per month in extra cash in their pockets are now facing the harsh reality. The political propaganda at the time was that there would be no additional taxes to pay for it," argued Golding.
He noted that the Government's tax policy worsens the fabric of the society and imposes social injustice on the majority of Jamaicans. The assertions were greeted with applause from opposition members, while their government counterparts chanted: "No new tax!"
Golding charged that economically vulnerable groups should receive some tax relief in the Budget. He noted, "Any way you cut it, lowering the taxes on the majority, who live on the margins of survival and must consume every dollar that they can find just to stay alive, would help to drive aggregate demand and inject more life into the economy."