The Government has removed the General Consumption Tax (GCT) on electricity bills for all residential customers, making good on an election promise.
This was announced by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller on June 5, while making her contribution to the 2012/13 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives.
“We made a promise before the elections to relieve the burden of the GCT on electricity, particularly for the poor and struggling middle class,” she said.
The Prime Minister noted that it is not possible to fulfil all the promises in the five months since the administration has been in office based on the “conditions we found”. She noted however that “we have heard the cries of the people, we have listened, and we feel the pain”.
Mrs. Simpson Miller informed that the Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, will provide additional information on the matter and other revenue measures when he closes the Budget Debate on Tuesday June 6.
She noted that the Government, despite the challenges, will do everything in its power to reduce the debt and restore growth in the economy. “It is in that context that some of the unavoidable, hard decisions had to be taken,” she stated.
As of the close of the 2011/2012 fiscal year, the country’s debt stood at $1.7 trillion or $600,000 for every resident of Jamaica.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter