No new taxes!
Trade union leaders' word to finance minister Dr Peter Phillips on the $539.3 billion 2014-2015 Budget tabled in the House of Representatives last Thursday.
Helen Davis-Whyte - general secretary, Jamaica Association of Local Government Officers
A don't foresee that there will be any new taxes, but we must bear in mind that the Budget really is a reflection of the crisis of the country. If we are not producing and getting in the foreign exchange, we will always find ourselves in this situation. Therefore, we must focus on the growth agenda as well as the fiscal targets. We can only realise Vision 2030 if as equal partners we decide to do our part in reforming and reshaping the Jamaican economy and society, and this is a critical period in us being able to do that.
Kavan Gayle - president of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union
I hope there are no new taxes. I hope the working class will not bear any further burden, and I anticipate that any growth in acquiring taxes must come from areas that they have sought to collect from but have not been able to. I also hope that they take some of the burden from pensioners in terms of property tax.
Danny Roberts - head of the Hugh Lawson Shearer Trade Union Education Institute
We need a social responsibility framework. The growth agenda has to be given equal prominence, and we need to do the tax reform to ensure that we collect the billions of dollars in uncollected taxes. But in the final analysis, the growth that we achieve must be shared equitably.
Norman Grant - president of the Jamaica Agricultural Society
I don't think there should be any new taxes. I think the over $500 billion should be used to further the fiscal consolidation into a manifested period of growth, driven particularly by the productive sector. In my view, the agriculture sector is a prime area that can provide another 100,000 jobs in the economy. With that, over time, we can greatly reduce our imports while increasing our exports. I really think, in terms of fiscal consolidation, that the economy is poised for growth.