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Bankers meet to identify alternative to withdrawal tax

Published:Sunday | April 27, 2014 | 6:13 PM

The country's largest bank, the National Commercial Bank (NCB), says it will be leading discussions with its fellow bankers to come up with an alternative to the proposed financial transactions tax to be placed on withdrawals and encashments.

NCB Group Managing Director Patrick Hylton says other revenue options are being looked at to avoid another taxation on who the Jamaica Bankers' Association has called "the most compliant". However, he says some critical data needed to complete its analysis was not yet ready.

The bankers will need to complete this analysis ahead of a planned meeting with officials of the Ministry of Finance before the finance minister closes the budget debate on Wednesday.

Speaking to The Gleaner-Power 106 News Centre on the weekend, Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips gave the clearest indication yet that the government could abandon the tax.

He says the government will have to consider alternatives as it seeks to balance the value of the tax against the division which it will cause in the country.

Phillips says a new source of tax will have to be found, which will not be a burden on the poor and a burden on the most vulnerable.


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