I don’t know of any other time except the budget presentation when I am literally afraid to watch local television. The budget presentation can be scary because the government needs to fill gaps and the most obvious way to do that is to take chunks out of the consumers’ pockets.
The most recent budget debate revealed that among several things, consumers will have to pay new taxes. Withdrawals will now attract a fee depending on the amount you are withdrawing from your account. For instance if you withdraw $1000.00 you will now pay $1 for tax.
Okay that’s not a lot but the amount increases to $10.00, if you withdraw $10,000.00. If you regularly withdraw large sums that amount can add up!
This money will be collected by the financial institutions and paid over a monthly period. This new tax will affect any withdrawals by cheque or by the A.T.M. machine. This new measures will become effective on June 1, 2014.
Is it all gloom and doom?
Well that is only one measure that was discussed if you want the full details click on this link to a document published on The Gleaner’s website http://jamaica-gleaner.com/pages/budget2014-2015/
There is also a bit of good news for those seeking student loans to further their education. A number of measures were announced including reducing interest rates, increasing the moratorium period for nurses and adjusting the age of those who can qualify to become guarantors.
On a side note, I recently stumbled on a website that offers a variety of discounts to consumers. The website is www.plazzah.com and it contains a listing of a number of shops and plazas in Jamaica.
There are also helpful reviews and short videos where consumers can browse the store’s inventory without ever leaving home! The website also offers daily giveaways of phone credit once you sign up for a free account.
Consumers can also use the website for a chance to find their favourite store and sign up for email alerts of new promotions.
So all in all today there were good and bad news for the consumers.
What’s your take on the budget presentation? Let me hear from you!
Teri Ann Renee Paisley
Gleaner Online Writer