Mon | Oct 23, 2017

Business leader says revenue measures out of line with growth agenda

Published:Friday | March 10, 2017 | 12:30 PM
Audley Shaw (right), minister of finance and public service, at the opening of the 2017-2018 Budget Debate at Gordon House in Kingston yesterday.

A leading business stakeholder has rejected the revenue measures announced by the Finance Minister Audley Shaw saying they are not in line with the Government’s growth agenda and one business executive says it could erode confidence.

Shaw yesterday announced new measures aimed at raising almost $30 billion in taxes.

Among the measures are an increase in the tax on fuel, tobacco and alcohol.

All motor vehicle-related fees are going up by 20 per cent and people will now have to pay 16.5 per cent GCT on group health insurance premiums.

READ: Drivers To Dig Deep — Motorists Get Hit Twice With Revenue Measures

The president of the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Alliance, Donovan Wignall, says Budget seems to be what he calls a balancing act.

 

President of the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Alliance Donovan Wignall

Meanwhile, Dennis Chung, the chief executive officer of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, says the measures are also likely to impact confidence.

 

he chief executive officer of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica

Meanwhile, Wignall says micro and small businesses, most of which operate from people’s homes will be hard hit by the adjustment to the band of electricity usage which will now attract GCT.

Previously, residential customers were required to pay GCT on usage above 350 kiloWatthour of electricity.

However, yesterday Shaw says GCT will now apply to residential usage above 150 kiloWatthour.

This means more people will now begin to pay the tax on their light bills.

Wignall says this spells more problems for micro and small businesses.

 

President of the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Alliance Donovan Wignall