In Their Words
Yannick Pessoa, entrepreneur:
The removal of general consumption tax from Jamaica Public Service bills on residential homes was the most significant highlight of the prime minister's Budget presentation. Many of the points were very nebulous and did not address the concrete realities of what Jamaicans face daily. Also, what I would have loved (to hear) from her is how Jamaica is going to position itself to take advantage of new job opportunities, for example the creative industries. Many of the labour intensive jobs now, will become obsolete in the near future and it begs to ask what are we doing to prepare for those new job opportunities. It shows they don't understand the job market and trends internationally, why people are losing jobs and how nations have to retool for the future.
Stephen Dear, businessman and CEO of Jamaica Jazz and Blues:
The presentation focused on the vulnerable persons in society and ensuring that they are uplifted and I laud that effort by the prime minister, because I believe we have to do something to ensure their living conditions are humane. But I worry on how we are going to pay for them because we need to be more responsible as a country. Also, what I would have loved to hear is how we are going to experience growth in the economy and one of the sectors I think we can experience growth in is tourism, particularly in the small properties.
Stephen Gentles, IT professional:
As it relates to the removal of tax from residential (electricity bills), average Jamaicans don't burn over 300 kWh per month as per what the finance minister had said in his presentation which leaves me to believe that the taxation was originally slated for businesses. Sustainable job creation for college graduates was not evident in her presentation. JEEP (Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme) is a big joke, what we want to hear is corporate job creation, not JEEP creation.
Wayne Cummings, former Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association president:
I felt that she was confident. The prime minister covered a wide range of issues and clearly I would appreciate more on the tourism sector, but we are still in discussion and I appreciated her tone. I think a lot of people wanted to see how she would project herself given the economic situation and she sent a strong signal to everyone, including the business community, that she is willing to talk. I am interested in the action going forward.