Happy 2010-You Will Be Paying More Taxes

As most of you may already know our kind and considerate government of Jamaica will be giving us a tax hike for the brand new year. Read this excerpt from the Sunday Observer.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service Audley Shaw announced a number of revenue measures Thursday which he said form part of a programme for a stand-by arrangement with the International Monetary Fund. Included in the measures, which will take effect January 1, 2010, was an announcement that the standard rate of GCT would be increased from 16.5 per cent to 17.5 per cent.

Minister Shaw also expanded the list of items which would be subject to the revised GCT. Some of these items include: books and booklets, brochures, pamphlets and leaflets for religious purposes, sports equipment, including clothing; some medical supplies, including artificial parts of the body, canes and crutches and contact lenses; food items including fresh fruit and vegetables, ground provision, onions and garlic, meat and poultry, sugar, salt, eggs and rolled oats and services rendered by an undertaker including burial or cremation and the supply of coffins.

What a way to start 2010, brand new decade.  So far we had tax hike on passports, cigarettes, alcohol, computer equipments,phones, phone cards those things that were exempt now falls on the tax axe.

According to the new “revised tax progrmme”books and booklets, brochures, pamphlets and leaflets for religious purposes will be taxed. Remember earlier this year the up roar about reading materials being taxed and the government decided not tax books and instead targeted cigarettes and alcohol.

I guess they did a tax gymnastic on us not only are those items still taxed but they came back and tax books anyway. If you think that’s bad the dead will have paying too, after all death, murders, dead yard is big business in Jamaica. The government could not make such a lucrative sector as the death industry of the economy go untouched. Services provided by the undertakers will be subjected to tax.

The Guns for drugs trade which was previously exempt from tax will now see 17.5% tax being applied. This is as a result of the short fall in revenue this year due to the global recession and lost revenue by the government from their cut from Buju’s cocaine but in Florida.

Other items to be taxed includes Gaza-Gully t-shirts, posters, badges (before the peace and after the peace.The government will also need a cut from any Kartel-Bounty clash at Sting 2009.

Even with the tax on alcohol Jamaicans might will be dazed by intaxication. Then again government does some strange things, they raise taxes on liquor then raise taxes on the things that cause people to drink, anyway enough of my shenanigans.

“Rule a kingdom as though you were cooking a small fish — don’t overdo it.”

——–Lao Tse

A few questions I am pondering:

What other options were available to increase government revenue without raising tax?

What are the likely impact on the working class, middle class, and business from these new taxes?

Will there be any more taxes in the short term (24 months) or long term (greater than 24 months)?

What efforts have been made to formalize informal parts of the economy which might be “free riding” the system (underground economy)?

After the recession, if remittances come back, bauxite comes back would there be any adjustments downwards on taxes?


~ by RB on December 20, 2009.

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