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$1.5m income tax plan will put IMF targets under pressure, says EPOC co-chair

Published:Tuesday | April 12, 2016 | 4:41 PM
Byles ... Jamaica should seek to complete the IMF programme without failing.

The Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) says the income tax plan by the Andrew Holness administration will make it difficult for Jamaica to attain the fiscal targets for the remainder of the programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

EPOC oversees the government’s deal with IMF.

The current income tax threshold is $592,800 per annum, but the government wants eliminate it for people earning up to $1.5 million a year.

By increasing the threshold the government will be foregoing a portion of the PAYE revenue it collects from around 60 per cent of the workforce.

Speaking at its monthly press briefing today, EPOC Co-chairman, Richard Byles, said the major challenge under the IMF programme is meeting the fiscal targets.

He said in normal times they are tough to achieve and given that Jamaica is facing abnormal times it would become more difficult if Jamaica takes on a commitment for a tax relief.

Byles further said Jamaica should seek to complete the IMF programme without failing.

Jamaica has passed 10 IMF tests.

An IMF team is expected in Jamaica next month to conduct the 11th and 12th reviews.

The programme comes to an end in March 2017.