Thu | Aug 17, 2017

PAAC wants clarification on $1.5m tax break beneficiaries

Published:Friday | June 9, 2017 | 6:34 AMJerome Reynolds

Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) is to write to the Ministry of Finance for clarification on the number of Jamaicans who benefited from the Government’s personal income tax break.

PAAC Chairman, Dr Wykeham McNeill, told a meeting of the committee on Wednesday that in response to questions the finance ministry, in a letter, informed that approximately 137,051 people benefited when the threshed moved up to its current ceiling.

He said the ministry indicated that of that number 78,475 persons benefited from the full tax break of $18,000 per month.

The previous threshed was $592,800 and was increased to one million dollars last July and to one point five million in April.

In providing details, McNeill noted that the finance ministry indicated that 215,000 persons benefitted in the first phase of the increase and a further 132,439 in phase two.

That’s a total of 347,439 beneficiaries.

The PAAC chairman argued that the disparities in the figures must be addressed.

 

PAAC Chairman, Dr. Wykeham McNeill

While agreed that the matter needs clarification, committee member, Fayval Williams, who is also the State Minister in the finance ministry, expressed concern about what she called concentrated negative criticisms against the Government’s tax giveback.

Responding, PAAC member Fitz Jackson said tax measures should be subjected to vigorous review.

Hitting back, Ms Williams said the $1.5 million tax break was properly and rigorously analysed before being implemented.