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Private sector leaders say gov't has lost trust

Published: Tuesday February 12, 2013 | 9:18 pm Comments 0
Francis Kennedy, JCC president
Francis Kennedy, JCC president
Christopher Zacca, PSOJ president
Christopher Zacca, PSOJ president
Brian Pengelley, JMA president
Brian Pengelley, JMA president

Private sector leaders have reacted with surprise to the $15.9 billion tax package announced by the Government today, saying the move has shattered their confidence in the Administration.

SEE: Full list of tax measures

Francis Kennedy, President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce
The Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister have lost all credibility with the private sector and it is going to take them a long, long time to build that back. They are going to push the country into further recession because we have no growth, just more taxation.

The country has been in a major recession and we have not been able to collect the revenues that they have projected to collect out of the tax package last year. Now all of sudden he is putting on more taxes and I don’t think he is going to collect.

Christopher Zacca, President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica
I feel betrayed and I believe the entire private sector feels this way. It is too early for us to comment on the technical aspect, obviously we have to meet with sector leaders to analyse it. The timing of it, coming right after a series of meetings in which the private sector, unions and the government met, without any mention of this package really leaves us let down as social partners.

Brian Pengelley, President Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association
We were taken completely by surprise. As the private sector, we feel that we were on a journey with the government to try and make sure that things work and that things run in Jamaica and at no point were we given even an inkling that this would happen. I feel a trust deficit; no wonder there was a trust deficit with the IMF and even here in Jamaica.

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