Every Jamaican is suppose to know that no matter how necessary it is, under no circumstance do you gulp Buckley’s like drink. It is with that idea in mind that some have been pressing the government to ensure its bitter medicine (in the form of impending tax reforms) are fed to the people in manageable dosages.
The Jamaica Civil Society Coalition (JCSC) made a strong plea to the Parliamentary Committee on Tax Reform at Gordon House against giving Jamaicans the whole dosage at once.The bitter medicine includes a plan to first, lower GCT on all items, but second, to implement the tax on a list of items currently exempt from the tax. Naturally, this would cause the cost of the once exempt goods to rise noticeably and cripple those with weak spending power.
“The JCSC has strong reservations about the proposed immediate removal of GCT exemption on basic food and services. While the data show the intended target group benefiting the least, we nonetheless urge [that this be done] because of the guiding principle of equity. We suggest that a 12-month period (for removal of exemption) be considered for a specified basket of basic foods and items of hygiene in order to protect the poor from any additional hardship,” Horace Levy, the group’s director told the committee.
The JCSC was set up last July by the former Jamaica Labour Party administration.