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PNP concerned about the abandonment of Bauxite Levy

PNP concerned about the abandonment of Bauxite Levy

The People’s National Party is deeply concerned that the JLP Administration is abandoning a decades-old policy of charging a levy or tax on companies which mine bauxite in Jamaica. In today’s sitting of the Standing Finance Committee of Parliament, the Minister of Finance indicated that the Government is instead moving to a profit share agreement.

Opposition Spokesman on Mining and Energy Phillip Paulwell says, “there is a real possibility that the Government will not collect any revenues from the profit share scheme, as this is dependent on the company reporting a profit. Bauxite is a depleting resource and it is important that the country gets maximum value for this asset”.

“Bauxite Levy is an efficient tax, and conditions in the industry are at their best in 10 years. Oil prices are low and alumina prices are improving”, Paulwell informed the Committee.

The PNP is calling on the Administration to reconsider this ill-advised policy to abandon the bauxite levy. The bauxite levy was imposed by the Michael Manley-led Government in 1974 and since then has provided a source of revenue for the country from the diminishing bauxite reserves to finance development projects for the people of Jamaica including, importantly, many communities which have been adversely affected by bauxite mining.