Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Dr. Peter Phillips continues his criticism of the government’s tax plan classifying it as a “pick pocket” budget.
Dr. Phillips says the budget has been devised in such a way that is taking back what is being given in the $1.5 m tax package.
He explains that the budget is burdensome to citizens and is ultimately putting the country’s future at risk.
Dr. Phillips highlights that the budget did not take social groups into consideration when it was being devised.
As a result he says many social groups have expressed their frustration with the budget.
He is advising the government to reconsider how it is going about the budget.
Dr. Phillips states that areas such as the levy on bauxite, property taxes and the tax being added on group health insurance need to be reconsidered.
Meantime, the People’s National Party is calling on Jamaicans to take a stand against some proposals in the government’s budget.
Speaking at a press conference this morning (Mar 20) the Opposition Spokesman on Finance, raised several questions about aspects of the tax package.
Dr. Phillips questioned the motive behind government’s proposal to move funds from several social programmes.
The Opposition’s question comes against the background of Finance Minister Audley Shaw’s proposal that the government a forensic review of several agencies including has started.
Among these agencies are the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) fund, Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority (JCAA), and Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF).
Minister Shaw stated that the agencies have a combined surplus of $1.9 b and the funds could be incorporated in the administration’s central operations.
Dr. Phillips says the removal of funds from the social programmes is a break of the social contract between the government and the groups.
Dr. Phillips says the government’s plans of removing the funds from the various programmes without consultation is an indication of bad governance.