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EPOC co-chairman hoping for no new taxes

Published:Thursday | February 19, 2015 | 2:33 AM

Richard Byles, the co-chairman of Jamaica’s Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), says he’s hoping there will be no new taxes in the 2015-16 Budget package.

The Estimates of Revenue and Estimates of Expenditure are to be tabled together in the House of Representatives this afternoon.

This is the first time in Jamaica’s modern history that they will be tabled together.

The Estimates of Expenditure and Revenues are to be laid in the House this afternoon along with the Debt Management Strategy, and the Economic Policy Paper.

And Byles says he’s hoping that instead of new taxes, he’s hoping tax compliance will be stepped up so that revenue from the current taxes will be sufficient to meet the projected expenditure.

Last year Parliament approved the spending of $540.1 billion this fiscal year, which was later lowered to $539.3 billion.


Phillips said the Government was expecting to raise $421.2 billion to go towards Budget financing.

He said loans of $110.9 million, as well as the utilisation of $1.4 billion, which represents balances in the banking system, and $6.7 billion in new revenue measures, would finance the Budget.

Up to news time, it was unclear how the new taxes imposed last year had performed.

However, based on information published by the Ministry of Finance, revenues and grants were underperforming by $10.15 billion at the end of December.

The target was set at $297.05 billion, but only $286.90 billion was collected.

Under the economic programme administered by the International Monetary Fund, Jamaica must maintain a primary surplus of 7.5 per cent while at the same time achieve a fiscal surplus to ensure its revenues cover all recurrent expenditure, including interest costs.