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'Workers wouldn't hold broken $1.5m tax promise against gov't'

Published:Thursday | May 12, 2016 | 8:44 AM

One union says public sector workers watching the opening of the budget debate this afternoon will not consider it a broken promise if the government doesn’t go through with the plan to abolish income tax for workers earning up to $1.5 million.

Oneil Grant, the president of the Jamaica Civil Service Association, says members of his association will be watching keenly when Finance Minister Audley Shaw tells the country this afternoon how he will fund the national Budget.

The item most anticipated is the plan to fund the election promise to provide income tax relief to certain Jamaicans, most of whom are public sector workers.

However, the JCSA had raised concern about the plan and had instead suggested an across the board increase of the income tax threshold to $1 million be implemented.

Grant says civil servants would not consider it a broken promise if the government decides to go with the lower tax threshold.

 

Oneil Grant, the president of the Jamaica Civil Service Association

The JCSA had previously disclosed that some workers were not looking forward to a three per cent increase in salary due April 1, as the pay rise would push them above the tax exempt group.

It had also said the long-term impact of the tax plan could be stagnation in the public sector as workers reject promotions to continue benefitting from the tax break.

Grant says a revision of the government’s proposal would show that the new administration listens to Jamaicans.

In the meantime, Grant says workers are also receptive to paying more consumption taxes if they are paying reduced income tax.

 

Oneil Grant, the president of the Jamaica Civil Service Association