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Story Highlights

  • Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the combined effort of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF), the private sector and Government is needed to address low labour productivity in Jamaica.
  • Speaking at the JEF’s breakfast meeting, at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, on September 13, Mr. Shaw said that labour productivity has been in “persistent decline” for approximately 40 years.
  • Mr. Shaw informed that the Government has taken bold steps to help address this in the form of the “famous” tax break.

Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the combined effort of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF), the private sector and Government is needed to address low labour productivity in Jamaica.

Speaking at the JEF’s breakfast meeting, at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston, on September 13, Mr. Shaw said that labour productivity has been in “persistent decline” for approximately 40 years.

However, the Minister emphasised that reversal of this “negative trend” is achievable.

Mr. Shaw informed that the Government has taken bold steps to help address this in the form of the “famous” tax break.

“Giving back to our Pay as You Earn workers should be seen as an opportunity, a point of departure to begin that long haul back to increased productivity,” he said.

“Phase one of the $1.5-million income tax threshold is well on its way. It was implemented in July,” the Finance Minister continued.

Under this arrangement, the income tax threshold was moved to $$1,000,272 on July 1 and come April 1, 2017, the threshold will be increased to $1.5 million.

The income tax break was one of the initiatives highlighted in this administration’s 10-point plan for economic growth and prosperity, which was outlined in its manifesto.

The Minister is urging employees to use it as an opportunity to be more productive, and indicated that the JEF has a significant role to play in ensuring that objective.

More on-the-job training is also being encouraged to increase the level of productivity.