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JEA concerned about lack of growth prospects for sector in Budget

Published:Saturday | March 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA) says it is concerned that the Budget presented by the Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Peter Phillips has no clear and definitive initiative to support the growth of Jamaica’s export sector.

The exporters are of the view that the tax measures put forward by Dr Phillips are regressive, move the country further away from the objective of tax reform and will negatively impact the productive sector and the poor.

The JEA Board notes that had the Budget targeted even 0.5 per cent more growth, the Government would earn substantially more revenue than is currently expected from the new taxes imposed by the finance minister.

The JEA believes that consultation with the sector before presentation of the Budget would have resulted in a Budget which is more focused on export-led growth which is the only sustainable course for the Jamaican economy.

And the JEA is calling for specific budgetary support for the implementation of key aspects of the National Export Strategy; maintenance of specific incentives to the productive sector; and refocusing of critical public sector institutions to support the productive sector.