JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, said today (April 22), that he was pleased at the broad support he has received from members of the private sector and the Opposition, for his proposal to introduce a flat tax for micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs).
He explained that the flat tax could be an important tool for introducing the discipline of participation in the taxation system to some businesses.
The Minister was speaking at a post-Budget forum, put on by the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and Deloitte, at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel, in St. Andrew.
In his recent Budget Debate presentation, the Minister announced that the Cabinet would soon be considering the proposal, aimed at simplifying the tax system as well as improving compliance among MSMEs.
Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Dr. Omar Davies, who took part in the forum said he welcomed the proposal.
“I commend and support the flat tax. We need to bring a significant amount of the labour force into the formal [system]. There is a contradiction that people expect the benefits of a formal society, but do not expect to contribute to financing that, and the flat tax is a gentle introduction towards formalising a percentage of the population that operates outside of that,” he said.
Dr. Davis further suggested that National Insurance Scheme (NIS) payments also form part of the flat tax for MSMEs.
Support for the flat tax was also forthcoming from officials at Deloitte, the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and several business persons attending the forum.
The forum was held under the theme: ‘Fiscal Reform: Challenges and Key Success Factors’, and was intended to facilitate discussion among stakeholders on issues arising from the 2010/11 Budget Debate.

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