JIS News

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, has said that the Government has no intention of taxing bond holders to close the gap in the national budget.
“I wish to state categorically that the Government is not considering any such measure of taxation at this time,” said Minister Shaw yesterday (April 29) at the Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) Corporate Solutions launch at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.
In his contribution to the 2009/10 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (April 28), Opposition Spokesperson on Finance, Dr. Omar Davies, proposed that a special surtax be placed on the interest charged on Government paper for the current financial year.
Mr. Shaw, however, argued that such a move may “create uncertainties in the market” which is currently extremely fragile.
In addition to the taxation measures mentioned in the budget, including the $8.75 special consumption tax on gasoline, the Minister stated that stringent measures would be put in place this fiscal year to ensure increased tax compliance, as the Government strives to meet revenue targets.
“This new fiscal year, I am going to be taking very serious steps to invite everyone who is not tax compliant, to become tax compliant. It is not a threat; it is an open invitation,” he stated.
According to the Finance Minister, tax reform was necessary in Jamaica, in order to ensure greater equity in the system. Citing the 2004 Matalon Report, which was a comprehensive review of Jamaica’s tax system, he said that a key recommendation was to raise the rate of General Consumption Tax (GCT) and to further narrow the range of exemptions.
Turning to the foreign exchange system, he noted that the Government was collaborating with the Bank of Jamaica to maintain stability of the Jamaican currency against the United States dollar. “The Governor of the Bank of Jamaica has (intervened) in the process to ensure that the demand from Government agencies for foreign exchange is moderated,” he said.
The Minister commended JMMB for hosting the function, which attracted more than 100 of Jamaica’s top corporate business executives and elite entrepreneurs.
Chief Executive Officer of the Boston-based Cue Ball Group, Anthony K. Tjan, in his address, urged the corporate giants to utilise the current global financial crisis as an opportunity to reinvent their business enterprises.
Mr. Tjan is a consumer and media business investor, who is a recognised leader and advisor on innovation and growth strategies.
Corporate Solutions is an expansion of JMMB’s existing products and services, which focuses on equipping chief executive officers, business owners, investment managers, and middle managers of large and medium-sized companies as well as Government institutions, to find relevant financial solutions.

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