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How will JLP deliver on pledges?

Published:Tuesday | March 1, 2016 | 12:00 AM


While, for the sake for the country at least, we would all wish the best for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), now that it has returned to government, I must admit that I am worrying. The JLP promised a lot of things that will not be cheap or easy. How will this new JLP government fulfil these promises?

Perhaps the most immediate promise made by the JLP is to raise the income tax threshold to $1.5 million for people who now earn that and less. In addition to not hearing anything creditable as to where the replacement taxes will come from to pay for giving up these taxes, how will the new government address the inequities that will result between those earning between $1.5 million and $1.8 million on the one hand, and those earning less than $1.5 million?

As a direct result of this income tax plan, how will the JLP encourage greater worker output, while discouraging workers who earn below $1.5 million from wanting to do overtime or seek a promotion, which will result in them taking home less pay?

With the increase in this tax-free threshold, more workers will have more money to spend. Yet, at the same time, the economy is not growing and there is no increased production. With more money to spend, how will the JLP prevent an increase in inflation?

The JLP has promised to raise the minimum wage significantly. A lot of small business owners now have workers who are being paid below the planned new minimum wage. Many of these business owners are already struggling to keep these workers. How does the JLP plan to enable these business owners to keep these workers if they cannot pay them the increased wages?

Indeed, how will it pay for the many other services, like health care, road works and the lot if, as it promised, it will give up these taxes but not raise new ones in a fiscal arrangement that is already very tight for the government?