Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke says it would be premature to announce definitive budget adjustments, prior to collection of outstanding taxes

Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Carke has emphasised that it would be premature to make an announcement on any definitive adjustment to the budget, prior to Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) collecting outstanding taxes.

He was responding to concerns raised by his Opposition counterpart Julian Robinson who called on Dr. Clarke to provide more details on the implications of the budget shortfall.

This in the wake of a statement yesterday from the Finance Ministry explaining that there is a shortfall in revenue for the current fiscal year.

The statement outlined an under performance for March 2024 with revenues for the past fiscal year  being less than budgeted for, by over 20 billion dollars.

It said the main contributor to the shortfall was corporate income tax, as several entities that filed did not make tax payment within the required time.

As such, the government will be pursuing payment.

It said the under performance in revenue has implications for programmed revenue estimates for the current fiscal year, so the government is assessing options to ensure prudent fiscal operations and attain legislated targets.  

In reacting to the statement Mr. Robinson called on the minister to state which programmes will be impacted negatively by the shortfall.

Mr. Robinson also called for the minster to be open and transparent on the issue.

Dr. Clarke responded by stressing that the statement issued yesterday was the government being transparent on the matter.

Dr. Clarke reiterated that the TAJ will be following up with the entities that did not make tax payments on time.

He also again pointed out that the government has options.


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