Gov't would have to call an election if tax plan not implemented – commentator
Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor - Radio
One political commentator says the Government would be ethically bound to call a general election if it is unable to implement its commitment to free people earning up to $1.5 million from paying income tax.
Yesterday, the Richard Byles, Co-Chairman of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), suggested that the government postpone the tax-break plan.
He argued that if implemented it would make it difficult for Jamaica to attain fiscal targets for the remainder of the programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
However, political commentator, Dr Paul Ashley says postponing implementation of the plan is not an option the government can afford to use.
Ashley says the promise was the main pillar on which the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) government was elected on February 25.
He points out that the commitment was not a loose one, but one given with a specific dollar figure and timeline.
He says even Jamaicans who did not vote for the JLP are waiting for the tax break and delaying implementation or changing the details of the promise would be catastrophic for the Government.
Ashley says he is also baffled by the call by the EPOC co-chair at this time for a delay in implementation.
He says it would be dangerous for the Government to say it will wait until the current IMF programme expires in March next year, especially since EPOC and others have suggested it would be prudent to enter another one.
Jamaica has already passed 10 IMF tests.
An IMF team is expected in Jamaica next month to conduct the 11th and 12th reviews.