Are the Private sector’s reform the key to Jamaica’s economic recovery?

Author : teriann

Recently there has been a lot of discussion about tax reform. The Private sector has suggested several things which they believe if implemented would ease the burden of tax payers in all sections of society.

What would the tax reform proposals mean for consumers? One of the 145 proposals suggests a reduction on GCT (General Consumption tax from 17.5 percent to 12.5 percent) and a removal of GCT on basic food items. Imagine if you want to purchase an item for $500. The current GCT when attached to the item would total $587.5. According to the suggested tax reform that same item would now cost $562.5.

That one caught my attention because the strategy seems to be to reduce taxes but what about those who can not afford to pay the additional costs for basic food items? I do think lowering the amount of tax is a way forward but care must be taken that those most vulnerable in our society are protected.

If adopted what will these measures mean for the average working Jamaican? Certainly less money would be taken from salaries as income tax would only be 15 percent. So that is good news.

Of course, these measures are only in the proposal stage. Therefore it remains to be seen if they will be adopted by the government.

Do you think the Government should adopt the Private sector’s tax reform programmes? Let me hear from you!

- Teri Ann Renee Paisley (Gleaner on-line writer)

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10 Responses to “Are the Private sector’s reform the key to Jamaica’s economic recovery?”

  1. Messengjah says:

    There are two indellible paths to economic SUSTAINABILITY (recovery is a see-saw) – education and elimination of crime. An educated populace is much more likely to understand how the society functions and behave accordingly. This means self-imposed health problems resulting from dumping of garbage on the streets, gullies, etc. would cease; domestic and other violence would be minimized; etc. An educated workforce would be far more productive and the government’s performance would have to be at peak to give itself any chance of being re-elected.

    Eliminating or reducing crime substantially would give the island an improved international image, which in turn would enhance investments; which in turn would spur the economy. No company feels confident in going into a country gripped with fear.

    Tax reductions are merely teasers that benefit predominantly those at the top. They are not sustainable if the macro-economy is floundering.

  2. teriann says:

    Good points Messenjah. Let’s wait and see what happens next!

  3. Rev Joan Porteous says:

    It is the Private Sector’s approach to our economic development that needs to be reformed.

    We are all in the same boat regardless of our situatedness, if one sinks we all will eventually sink. Therefore it is imperative that the private sector labeled as the economic engine of growth accepts that there needs to be expansionism in the economic sector. More members of the society must become hoteliers, and entrepreneurial. Banks need to lend more of its costumers loans, banks must take risk with more of its costumers, less imports and Jamaicans must learn to eat what we grow and export what we grow.

    Too much imported food items in our supermarket. Government must lead and stop being led.The JEEP must be embraced regardless no economy can serve without workers and we are at this stage to address the workers situatedness.

    People must become gainfully employed a hungry man is an angry man, the economic pie must share or we all will die.

  4. earl bailey says:

    Economist Steve Green had a proposal to start from the middle class. This section of the social economy are under the most burdened and are the ones who pay the most of every tax. Thus lets start by freeing up the hands of the middle class. payoff their debts; such credit cards, home mortgages, car and education loans and give them the opportunity to increase their savings and investment power and increase their consumerism behaviour. Movements (financial and economic) in the middle class will have a positive ripple effect on both the upper class and lower class

  5. Stefan Brand says:

    Taxes are used to finance Government-provided services. Taxes should be paid by ALL who benefit from/use those services, including the poor. It is not fair to tax only some of the population, merely to transfer funds from one part of society to another.

    That is why I support an overall lowering of GCT, combined with a reduction or elimination of GCT exemptions. Everyone needs to be in it together.

  6. sean says:

    Some aspects of the private sector’s tax reform programme are good. My concerns are in relation to the protection of the poor and unemployed. The suggestion is to reach them through the P.A.T.H programme. Efficiency and accountability is lacking in every government department which would leave some to starve while the government tries to fix the problem over a long period.

  7. teriann says:

    We are alll in this together as Jamaicans! That’s a good way to view things Stefan.

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  9. Donald says:

    We are desperately in need of total tax reform. In my opinion, taxes can be reduced significantly if we can create enough incentives to get more local business on the tax role.

  10. Brian says:

    Agree that a total tax reform is needed, but I don’t think it will happen anytime soon :(

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