Shaw announces new tax measures
The Finance Minister Audley Shaw has announced that as of January 1, Jamaicans will be paying more taxes.
GCT will be going up and motorists will again be hit with an increase in the fuel tax.
After speaking more than fifty-minutes in Parliament today, Audley Shaw delivered what has been described by the JLP youth arm as the bitter pill, five new tax measures.
The standard rate for GCT will be going up from 16.5 per cent to 17.5 per cent to raise $3.6 billion.
The Special Consumption Tax on cigarettes will be increased from $8,500 per 1,000 sticks to $10,500 per 1,000 sticks to raise $1.41 billion.
Numerous items that now do not attract GCT will attract the tax as of January one to earn $6.2 billion.
GCT will now be applied to electricity, but only for residential customers using more than 200 kilowatt hour each month, this is expected to raise $1.2 billion, while the ad volorem component of the special consumption tax on gas will again be increased this time to 15 per cent to earn $9.4 billion.
Audley Shaw said the increase in taxes was not avoidable at this point.
The finance minister said the new tax measures should rake in $21.8 billion a year.
This equates to just about $1.8 billion a month.
In other words over the next three months before the end of the fiscal year, the Government is expected to raise $5.4 billion.
However the Government has indicated that it needs to raise $10 billion to fill the current deficit.
This afternoon the finance minister did not say how the remaining $4.6 billion would be raised. He left that task for the Prime Minister Bruce Golding.