Don't confuse the issues Clarke to Byles on tax regime
Deputy Chair of the Economic Growth Council, Dr Nigel Clarke, says he does not support a call for the government to delay a further increase in the personal income tax threshold and redirect the money to fund it towards the security forces to fight crime.
The personal income tax threshold was increased to $1 million in July and is to go up to $1.5 million in April next year.
However, citing the recent spate of violent crimes, Co-Chairman of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee, Richard Byles, argued that the $16 billion which will have to be found to pay for the tax relief should be used to fund national security.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Byles contended that there are better ways to use the country’s scarce resources.
IN PHOTO: Richard Byles
However, the growth council deputy argues that increasing personal income tax has a place in the country’s economic development.
Clarke contends that Byles is conflating two separate issues.
Clarke further argues that the tax regime is a rebalancing of taxation serving to broaden the tax base to get more Jamaicans to pay their fair share.
He notes that the move is revenue neutral.
The government has said it is on a drive to move from direct to indirect taxation to boost revenue.
Clarke says the growth council agrees with calls for improving security and fighting crime as indicated among the recommendations it made to the government on how to improve the economy.
He says the council believes this can be achieved through prioritising spending in the national budget and reallocation of funds.
He was speaking this morning in an interview on Nationwide Radio.