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Golding says tax-exempted items benefiting the rich more than poor

Published:Monday | April 18, 2016 | 5:49 PM
Shoppers moving through downtown Kingston.

Sherine Williams, Gleaner Writer

Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding says wealthy Jamaicans are benefiting more from tax-exempted goods and services which are meant to relieve the poorest Jamaicans than the group for which the tax-free policy was intended to help.

Speaking on Cliff Hughes Online on Power 106 FM, Golding said wealthier Jamaicans benefit more than the poor from items free of General Consumption Tax (GCT) because they have a higher purchasing power and are able to buy more of these goods.

 

Golding says with the current tax exemption system, the government deprives itself of valuable revenue to the benefit of the rich.

 

Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding

In 2009, the Bruce Golding-led administration announced new taxes on several zero-rated goods, including basic food items.

However, after intense public outcry, Golding removed the taxes on all the items except for electricity.

The current government has signalled that it intends to collect an additional $16 billion in GCT for the new financial year.