11 May THE JLP GOVERNMENT MUST DEAL WITH REALITY, NOT A PR CAMPAIGN
Once again the JLP is demonstrating its callous indifference to the suffering of the Jamaican people by advertising the $18,000.00 “tax break” as a political achievement to be celebrated, and ignoring the onerous burdens it has brought on the backs of all Jamaicans.
When the tax break was announced the JLP lied that there would be no additional taxes. The PNP warned that everyone, including the beneficiaries, would be forced to pay dearly.
Today, the massive increase in the cost of electricity has set back every small business person and imposed an unbearable monthly bill on 400,000 households. The increase in the cost of transportation means that many workers and students will now go without lunch.
– 1.3 million labour force, fewer than 300,000 benefitted, fewer than 120,000 got the maximum benefit
– 900,000 workers got nothing
– 110,000 NIS Pensioners got nothing, not even pension increase
– 173,000 unemployed got nothing
– Hundreds of thousands minimum wage earners got nothing
– 400,000 motorists must face increased motor vehicle licensing fees
In addition to the initial taxes imposed, the government was still in trouble and attempted to levy another brutal tax package, this time by increases of up to 1,000 per cent on property tax. This was only withdrawn after island wide protests from PNP and JLP alike. However, even after the withdrawal, there are businesses and home owners who are still saddled with increases of up to 600 per cent and more.
The PNP is again warning that the government is planning to re-impose the tax package they have withdrawn before presenting the April 2018 budget. The JLP government will have to make up the budget shortfall.
In addition to the suffering of the people the reckless fiscal policies of the JLP government has also undermined both the macro-economic stability achieved by the PNP and the growth agenda. The JLP is clearly not a government for the people for as one popular artist observed, ”What they give with one hand they take back with two”.