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Major union group to meet Thursday over proposed $13.5b tax package

Published:Monday | March 13, 2017 | 3:38 AM

The Jamaica Confederations of Trade Union (JCTU) says the proposed $13.5 billion tax package will top the agenda of its executive meeting set for Thursday.

A plan of action on how to formally respond to the Government is to be worked out.

The JCTU, which represents about 11 public sector unions, has criticised the taxes announced by the finance minister describing them as 'almost criminal' because of the alleged burden they will place on workers.

The confederation's president, Helene Davis-Whyte says the group will be seeking advice from its economist, which will then be used to shape the response to the Government.

She says the group remains unconvinced that switching to indirect taxes from direct taxes is the best approach to getting increased revenue.

 

President of the JCTU, Helene Davis-Whyte

Davis Whyte also says the new tax package will be important to the wage negotiations that are due.

The tax package brings to almost $30 billion, the amount of taxes the Andrew Holness administration intends to impose to fund its personal income tax relief that was key to the Jamaica Labour Party's winning the 2016 general election.

The tax measures include increases on gas, alcoholic beverages, tobacco and motor vehicle licences.

A tax has also been proposed on group health insurance.