Sat | Jan 20, 2018

Economist warns gov't against imposing more consumption taxes

Published:Tuesday | January 31, 2017 | 10:51 AM
Dr Andre Haughton

Economist, Dr Andre Haughton, is warning the government against imposing further consumption taxes ahead of the tabling of the 2017/2018 national budget next week.

The Government will need to find $16 billion to finance the second tranche of its $1.5 million income tax relief promised to Jamaican workers.

Finance Minister Audley Shaw has already indicated that new taxes will be needed to help to plug the revenue gap.

However, he has not said how much of the $16 billion will come from new taxes.

However, Haughton says Jamaicans are at their limit, especially as it relates to consumption taxes.


Last May the government imposed more than $13 billion in taxes to raise the income tax threshold to a million dollars.

A huge chunk of that came from consumption taxes on gas.

However, Haughton says the Government now needs to move quickly to fulfil its growth promises as there is urgent need for new industries from which taxes can be derived.

Meanwhile, Haughton says he agrees with the Government’s overall thrust to move away from direct taxes.


Economist and lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Dr Andre Haughton