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Survey finds 51 per cent of workers do not expect benefit from $1.5m tax plan

Published:Tuesday | June 7, 2016 | 6:28 PM

An online survey among public and private sector workers has revealed that just over half of them do not believe they will benefit from the $1.5 million tax relief plan announced by the Government.

According to the survey conducted by the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Education Institute, 51 per cent of respondents believe they will not be better off as a result of the tax measures.

Forty per cent said they believed they would be better off and nine per cent were unsure.

The $1.5 million tax relief plan was a major election promise for the governing Jamaica Labour Party.

Initially, the Government had proposed to eradicate income taxes for people earning up to $1.5 million.

However, the income tax threshold of $592,800 would remain for people earning above $1.5 million.

Following, mounting criticism about the inequitability of the proposed measure, the Finance Minister Audley Shaw announced a new plan when we opened the Budget Debate in March.

Shaw said the Government would instead implement raise the threshold across the board  to $1 million effective July 1 and then to $1.5 million in April next year.

In the meantime the survey found that 41 per cent of the respondents believed that the Government has fulfilled its promise on the $1.5m tax threshold.

Forty-five per cent did not believe the promise was fulfilled and 14 per cent were unsure.

When asked if they believed the tax benefit when it was first announced during the general election campaign, 60 per cent of the respondents said ‘no’ and 40 per cent said ‘yes.’

The online survey was conducted between May 17 and 27 among 2,200 public and private sector workers, with 255 or just about 12 per cent responding.