Debbie-Ann Wright, News Editor
The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre
Opposition leader, Andrew Holness, says a Jamaica Labour Party administration would not have placed general consumption tax on the new items which will now attract the tax.
Making his contribution to the budget debate in parliament this afternoon, Holness, slammed the government’s taxation package saying it will not induce growth but seems to be a strategy for scraping up all the revenues the government can.
Andrew Holness was bruising in his criticism of the government’s budget and revenue measures when he spoke in parliament this afternoon.
Taking a jab at Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, he said the People’s National Party government had become the worst nightmare of Jamaicans.
According to Holness the government should have taken the opportunity to implement tax reform which could induce growth instead of just implementing a tax package simply designed to raise revenue.
The opposition leader said a government led by him would not have placed general consumption tax on books, animal feed, seeds, fertilisers or basic food items.
Holness said it was unconscionable that the government has widened the tax base placing GCT on certain basic food items, without putting in a system to ensure equity.
He said when he was prime minister towards the end of last year, he had started discussions about creating a comprehensive social protection programme.
Holness says comprehensive tax reform would have been an important step in demonstrating to creditors that the country is taking steps to fix its structural problems.