JIS News

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  • The Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) has endorsed the Government’s $710-billion Budget for the 2017/18 fiscal year, which is expected to keep Jamaica’s economic programme on track.
  • Co-Executive Director, Dr. Damien King, believes its formulation is “clearly the right course” taken by the Administration to position Jamaica to record further macroeconomic stability and debt reduction.
  • Regarding what he described as the “controversial” shift from direct to indirect taxation, he pointed out that this methodology is advantageous, as taxing consumption captures all categories of income earners, both employed and self-employed.

The Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) has endorsed the Government’s $710-billion Budget for the 2017/18 fiscal year, which is expected to keep Jamaica’s economic programme on track.

Co-Executive Director, Dr. Damien King, believes its formulation is “clearly the right course” taken by the Administration to position Jamaica to record further macroeconomic stability and debt reduction.

Additionally, he says the Administration’s policy shift from direct to greater indirect taxation represents a more efficient and effective way of guaranteeing higher generation of revenues.

Dr. King was speaking on the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) television programme, ‘Issues and Answers’, on March 24.

He noted that the programme of debt reduction embarked on over the last five years is set to continue during 2017/18.

Regarding what he described as the “controversial” shift from direct to indirect taxation, he pointed out that this methodology is advantageous, as taxing consumption captures all categories of income earners, both employed and self-employed.

Dr. King noted, however, that the disadvantage with this approach is that “you end up taxing people with such low incomes that they really ought not to be paying taxes in any case…”.

He argued that within that dispensation, it is imperative to safeguard the welfare of the society’s marginalised.

“We all have some kind of moral obligation to the neediest. But, it’s not just moral obligation. No economy is going to sustain growth for a very long time by leaving behind those who are marginalised,” Dr. King said.

“So, we can make the shift from income taxes to consumption taxes, because it is more efficient. But as you do so, you have to be comprehensively mitigating and addressing the needs of that (marginalised) section of the population,” he emphasised.

In this regard, Dr. King welcomed the increased provisions made by the Government to protect the poor and most vulnerable, particularly PATH.