Opposition Spokesman on Finance Mark Golding says the government could have given an additional $16 billion in tax breaks that would benefit “ordinary consumers” without reducing revenues in real terms.
As an example, Golding says general consumption tax (GCT) could have been reduced from 16.5 per cent to return $16 billion to ordinary Jamaican consumers and still see revenues keep pace with inflation.
Another way to increase the tax giveback, he suggested, would be to reduce the $14 billion projected earnings from the special consumption tax (SCT) that was placed on fuel to help finance the government’s election promise of increasing the income tax threshold to $1.5 million.
“Give the travelling public an ease up from high fuel prices… the taxi man and his passengers, the bike man doing deliveries, the truck man bringing food from the country, the pensioners who have to buy gas out of their fixed income,” said Golding.
He was making his contribution to the 2019 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives today days after Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke opening the session announcing a $14 billion stimulus plan.