THE EDITOR, Sir:
After being in the political wilderness for so long, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has returned with some half- hearted, premature and unconvincing promises. They promised to increase the net pay for persons earning up to $1.5 million per year and on the face of it, it sounded wonderful. But recent pronouncements remind one of what April 1st is known for.. Now after the fact, less than 100 days and the country is seriously questioning if they made a mistake in electing to power the JLP.
The Jamaican people knew full well that their taxes are what run the country, from paying civil servants to cleaning drains. But in an effort to take home more money the mandate was taken from the People's National Party (PNP) and given to the JLP. Now the finance minister, Audley Shaw, says that several challenges have been encountered, which may cause a delay in the actual implementation of the plan to increase the income tax threshold to $1.5 million in the next fiscal year. The $1.5 million dollar question is where did the finance minister see the leverage for such an implementation in our financial climate? The next question is where will the money come from to finance the 2016-2017 budget without increased taxes? The minister is almost in a de ja vu position dating to back to July 2006 when the nurses were promised an increase take-home pay. Suffice to say the promise was not delivered.
The JLP is off to a rather shaky start and they should be mindful of their one-seat majority that they hold over the opposition People's National Party (PNP). The country is on edge and is keenly watching the government's every move and listening to every word that they say and so far it is not good. The country braces itself to hear what will come of this $1.5million dollar drama and what the 2016-2017 budget will be.