Below is excerpted feedback to the lead story 'Cut those waivers', published in The Gleaner on Thursday, March 15, 2012.
There is a reason for this push by the private sector, and the GOJ must take some time to study it carefully, and find out what they are missing, what is it so sweet in the bottom that the private sector all of a sudden are willing to give up waivers and other incentives! Something is fishy here!
The GOJ should not dismiss or accept their proposal until they get real experts to take a deep look.
Look here, it's time we stop giving waivers to the tourism sector. Most of the money earned there DOES NOT stay in Jamaica anyway. Imagine if these all-inclusive hotels were being supplied with food primarily by our agri sector. That would revitalise that lagging industry exponentially.
The tourism industry is one of the main sources of income for Jamaica. Mr Matalon, if you continue to try to squeeze the goose, there will be no more eggs.
Raising taxes directly or indirectly on tourism will drive room costs higher and drive our tourists to other islands in the Caribbean. Leave well alone what is working and go and try and save mismanaged companies from Chapter 11-style bankruptcy.
Mr Matalon, are you aware that Sir Linden Pindling of The Bahamas refused to sign the Common Market agreement of CARICOM because, as he said, he could not afford to waive the duties to these foreign manufacturers.
Mr Matalon, are you aware that the trade deficit with our CARICOM partners for 2008-2011 amounts to US$2.5 billion. If we collected only 10 per cent duty, we would net approximately US$250 million.
Mr Matalon, if you insist on no incentive/waivers for local manufacturers, you must insist that there be no waivers for foreign manufacturers also.