25 per cent increase on textbooks
Jerome Reynolds, Gleaner Writer
Consumers are being told to brace for a 25 per cent increase in the prices of text books and other materials arising from the imposition of a 16.5 per cent General Consumption Tax (GCT) on the items.
Players in the industry met today, to discuss the impact of the levy at an emergency meeting of the Book Industry Association of Jamaica.
The tax has angered book manufacturers and store owners who say they are being called upon to shoulder the burden of the tax.
The association’s director, Franklin McGibbon, says based the imposition of GCT on books effective June 1, and subsequent utterances from the Minister of Finance, it appears that only leisure books which account for 5 per cent of book sales would be affected.
But he says leisure books constitute the most vulnerable segment.
As a result, McGibbon said the move by the government will only serve to shutdown the book industry.
He said the association is scheduled to meet with finance minister Dr. Peter Phillips on Friday to discuss its concerns.