The Opposition People's National Party (PNP) has declared that it will remove the General Consumption Tax (GCT) on electricity and a range of basic food items if it is elected to form the next government.
Addressing party supporters in Papine, St Andrew last Saturday night, PNP President Portia Simpson Miller said removing the GCT on electricity would assist burdened households.
Simpson Miller further argued that removing the GCT would provide an incentive for the productive sector, including manufacturers and other businesses finding it difficult to cope with high electricity bills.
According to the PNP president, a new government led by her would also review the issue of reconnection fees charged by the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS).
On the issue of basic foods, Simpson Miller said the imposition of the GCT on a basic food item such as cornmeal, was unfair, contrary to the justification advanced by the Jamaica Labour Party-led Government, which imposed the tax on some basic foods.
The Government has repeatedly argued that the GCT on electricity does not affect the vast majority of Jamaicans.
According to Finance Minister Audley Shaw, some 74 per cent of JPS customers currently do not pay GCT on electricity.
"Over 375,823 JPS customers do not now pay GCT on electricity because they consume less than 200 kilowatt hours per month, and those who have businesses are eligible to apply for a refund of GCT as an input tax," said Shaw as he opened the last Budget debate.