Sat | Jul 20, 2019

PM waves J'can flag to investors in Canada - Holness promises no additional tax burden

Published:Friday | June 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott/Gleaner Writer
Prime Minister Andrew Holness at JAMPRO’s Do Business Jamaica investor forum in Canada.

On day one of his historic trip to Canada, Prime Minister Andrew Holness wasted no time in luring potential investors to Jamaica, telling them that they could be confident in the fiscal environment and asserting that his administration was resolute about "fiscal certainty".

The prime minister said this while promising that "investors can rest assured that Government will not place an additional burden on you by virtue of taxes".

"It is now a part of the DNA of our government, regardless of whichever political administration is in. It is now a part of our political economy. The electorate is voting on this issue - that Government in Jamaica must be fiscally responsible," Holness told a group of investors in Canada yesterday ahead of the G7 summit with the world's most powerful countries.

"Across administrations and across the political divide, we agree that governments must be fiscally responsible," he stressed, adding that his administration was taking fiscal responsibility "to another plane".

He urged the public, and, in particular, investors, to have a long-term view of public finances.

"We have made, this year, a significant achievement where we were able to cast a budget with no new taxes. And it is our intention, as far as possible, to maintain that stance [so] that our investors and the general public can have certainty as it relates to tax and the Government's imposition of taxes," the prime minister stated.

Acknowledging that Carib-bean countries, in general, failed to collect upwards of 90 per cent of what is due, Holness signalled that the Government would be hawkish in plugging leakages and ensuring that "there was a higher level of compliance".