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Chamber of Commerce president calls dramatic fee increase poor business acumen

Published:Friday | June 19, 2015 | 6:59 AM
In a release the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce president Warren McDonald says it is intolerable that a system of economic management could permit a backlog of 28 years or more and then expect to wipe out that backlog overnight.

Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) president Warren McDonald is suggesting the decision to dramatically increase certain licence fees shows a lack of business acumen within the public sector.

Based on the updated fee structure retailers who have turnovers of up to $500,000 will see their trade and business licences move from $20 to $2,500.

Business operators have characterised the increase as hard, unwise, and ridiculous, arguing that it will make it difficult for the entities to survive.

However, finance minister Dr Peter Phillips has said the fee structure was last amended in 1987 and is not in keeping with the realities.

In a release the JCC president says no rational businessperson will expect that the fees will indefinitely remain at levels that were first decided years ago.

But he says it’s incomprehensible that the fees were not reviewed over the past three decades.

McDonald says it is intolerable that a system of economic management could permit a backlog of 28 years or more and then expect to wipe out that backlog overnight.

He notes that there appears to be a lack of awareness of the projections businesses have to make and how these unexpected costs can affect an entity’s sustainability.

McDonald also says the public sector needs an infusion of business acumen.