Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
The special select committee of parliament which considered the Green Paper on tax reform, says a reduction in the rate of poverty should be a consideration in removing certain basic food items from the General Consumption Tax (GCT) exempt list.
The committee, which completed its work today, said it is in favour of direct subsidies for basic food items, rather than the general subsidies provided through exemptions.
It said the Planning Institute of Jamaica should be asked to consider trigger mechanisms, which would result in items being removed from the exempt list.
According to the committee, some of the items that should be included on the GCT exempt list are milk, infant formula, canned sardines, canned mackerel, cooking oil, brown sugar, rice, flour, chicken, fertilisers and prescription drug.
In the meantime, the committee, which is chaired by Finance Minister Dr. Peter Phillips, has recommended that tourism interests, who do not file corporate income tax should not benefit from the incentives under the Hotel and Incentives act.
It said the Government should examine the possibility of making research and development a condition for the granting of tax credit or other incentives to the productive sector.
A report will now be sent to the House of Representatives for consideration and debate.