Thu | Nov 15, 2018

Letter of the day: Better to be demoted

Published:Friday | February 19, 2016 | 12:00 AM


I write in reference to a letter published in the February 17, 2016 edition of The Gleaner captioned 'JLP tax plan makes no sense'. I have had the same concern for quite some time, as I was confused about whether or not it is the threshold that will be moved or is it that the persons earning $1.5m would not pay income tax.

As great as this would sound to some, has the Opposition considered what this move would do to workers earning $1 over the $1.5m? I am a prime example. Just six months ago, I was only too happy to be promoted another scale on the payment ladder after completing studies. With a tuition loan to repay, it was a welcome promotion.

With the announcement of the JLP, this would mean I would have been better off not had I not gone back to school or had I not submitted my degree to HR. See, I was just under the $1.5m mark before and now I am just barely over. This means that I will be taking home less than I would have had I not been promoted, that is if the JLP wins.

As Wednesday's writer outlined, not only will supervisors and senior employees be taking home less than the juniors, but this will also have a serious impact on staff morale, promotions, furthering educational qualification and/or skills training, etc.

The obvious question, therefore, is, would it not have been fairer, and much more sensible, to have offered to increase the income tax threshold across the board so we all can benefit?

I do hope our HR department makes allowance for people who wish to be demoted, because if the JLP wins, I - and I know many other Jamaicans - will be opting to this.