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Opposition warns gov't not to jeopardise pension scheme for tourism workers

Published:Monday | March 20, 2017 | 1:08 PM

The opposition spokesman on tourism Dr Wykeham McNeill is warning the government not to allow the pension scheme for tourism workers to become a casualty of the increased taxes impacting the sector.

Last week, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) said with members to face increased property and electricity tax, they may have to reconsider the pension scheme.

McNeill told The Gleaner that he is against not going through with the scheme but he understands the concerns of the tourism players.

He said the Government must consider whether its actions could jeopardise the pension scheme whose implementation is overdue.

Meanwhile, McNeill has sided with the JHTA in opposing the use of funds from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to support the Budget.


Opposition spokesman on tourism, Dr Wykeham McNeill

The TEF collects a tax on visitors which it then uses to undertake projects to develop the sector.

Finance Minister Audley Shaw has said the government will be doing a study to see how surpluses from bodies such as the TEF can be used by the Government.

McNeill told journalists this morning that the money should remain in the TEF to fulfil the objectives of the fund and ensure Jamaica's tourism product is supported.

He said the lack of consultation violates the agreement between stakeholders and government on how to use TEF resources.