Sugar cane costs will go up - Rickards
President of the All-Island Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Allan Rickards, is forecasting a rise in the price of sugar cane due to the latest round of taxes.
Rickards pinpointed the 15 per cent increase in the gas tax, saying that it was sure to have a major impact on the production costs of sugar cane.
"You cannot raise taxes without contemplating consequences. That is irresponsible. How can you put an ad valorem on fuel and you know that diesel is the fuel of the manufacturing sector, what are you expecting to happen? When the man who operates the equipment and the man who has to use it to pay for his livelihood is also beset with the other tax increases in his household, what are you expecting to happen?" he asked aloud at a press conference yesterday at the association's North Avenue office in Kingston.
Rickards is calling on the Government to guarantee cane farmers a minimum payment of $1,200 per tonne, bearing in mind the increased cost to them. He says this will ensure that the harvesting and maintenance cost of farmers are covered.