The public anger that has arisen since the announcement of new taxes last Thursday is understandable and I sympathize with the Jamaican people. The worldwide recession has hit us badly and I know that many Jamaicans are having it hard. In these difficult times, no one would want to impose additional taxes if there was a way it could be avoided.
Reacting to torrents of criticism nationwide and threats of street demonstrations by the Opposition, Prime Minister Bruce Golding yesterday succumbed to pressure over a $21-billion tax package slated to take effect on January 1, 2010.
FINANCE MINISTER Audley Shaw yesterday announced the largest tax package of the calendar year as the Government moved to plug a $17.9-billion hole in the Budget. The package, the third announced by Shaw this fiscal year, is intended to raise $21.8 billion annualised through the medium term.
SOME leading corporate bosses have criticised the Government for the $21.8-billion annualised tax package it presented in Parliament yesterday.
The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has announced cuts in the interest rates on open market instruments for the fourth time this year. Open market instruments are investment options sold to by the Government over different period on which an interest is paid upon maturity.
PUBLIC-SECTOR workers will have to wait until 2012 before they can receive any salary increase. Prime Minister Bruce Golding told Parliament yesterday that the decision to extend the freeze on public-sector wages was a result of the Government’s fiscal pro-gramme with the International Monetary Fund.
THE PARLIAMENTARY Opposition has called on the Government to reverse the tax package announced in Gordon House yesterday, calling the measures “oppressive, cruel and unjust”.
AT the time of writing this column, I, like every other Jamaican, am waiting to see what tax package the government delivers and the final outcome of the IMF negotiations. Both these issues have been on the tongues of everyone except the dead in Jamaica.
Currency is the magma that holds the tectonic plate of any economy. More so, in the case of Jamaica. The plate has shifted and there are gapping holes in the currency. The ground we are now standing on is a shaky ground. Some might say that we have a flawed currency.