That devastating petrol tax
The Editor, Sir:
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration has imposed an additional tax on all petrol products effective January 1, which is having a devastating effect on the cost of living of all Jamaicans. All forms of commodities are being increased at a very high and steep cost throughout the country.
The Jamaica Broilers company has formally announced that as of next month, the price of chicken will be increased by over five percentage points, which will have a significant negative cost impact on the poor citizens of this country. All supermarket products are being increased to alarming levels because of the increase in the petrol products. If this petrol tax is not immediately removed, then the cost of living expenses is likely to increase gradually by over 35 per cent for the entire population, pushing up the inflation rate to a very high level, which would have a deleterious effect on the country's economy.
I am publicly appealing to the Minister of Finance and the Public service, Audley Shaw, and Prime Minister Bruce Golding, to remove that petrol tax immediately, because Jamaicans simply just cannot afford it at this time.
From the time the JLP government came into office they have been imposing huge amounts of taxes left, right and centre having no regard for the poor and sick persons of our nation. Many persons have been pushed into poverty by the high cost of living. Where are the jobs, jobs, jobs, that Mr Golding so fervently promised when he was campaigning?
Also, I do not see how the reduction and recall of all government-issued bonds and securities and the reissuing of those at a newer lower agreed rate will work, and how that will solve the major economic problems of this country.
What Jamaica needs is massive production, large incoming foreign investment, the formation of new businesses across the country, and a visionary, caring and professional government which has the interests of the citizens as its prime objective.
I am, etc.,
RICHARD L. TOMLINSON