JIS News

The second tranche of the two-tiered income tax threshold increase for Pay As You Earn (PAYE) contributors and pensioners for the 2009/10 fiscal year, takes effect on Friday, January 1, 2010.
The tax threshold will move from its initial increase of $320,736, which was effected on July 1, 2009, to $441,168. The new figure will double the level of just over $220,000, which was effected in January 2009.
Finance and the Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw, in his 2009/10 Budget Debate presentation in Parliament in April, advised that an additional 85,000 workers are expected to benefit from the overall tax relief, bringing the total number of PAYE contributors, who will no longer pay income taxes to approximately 132,000.
The second tranche of tax threshold increase for pensioners will see the figure moving from the initial increase of $400,736, effected on July 1 for persons 55 to 65 years, to $521,168. Pensioners, over 65 years, will see their tax limit moving from $480,736 to $601,168.
Government pensioners are also slated to benefit from increases in their payments, for which the administration has earmarked some $500 million.
Beneficiaries currently receiving under $30,000 will get a monthly increase of $2,075, or $24,900 per annum. Pensioners receiving $30,000 to $49,000 per month will get an additional $1,875, or $22,500 per annum. An increase of $1,350 or $16,200 per annum will accrue to individuals currently receiving upwards of $50,000.
Meanwhile, a Ministry Paper, tabled in Parliament on December 15 by Minister Shaw, proposes an annual increase to widows and widowers receiving a pension, prior to July 1, 2009, of $24,000 or $2,000 per month, with dependents benefitting from increase in payments amounting to $1,350 per month or $16,200 per annum.
Additionally, it is proposed that pensioners, who retired at age 55 and those forced to do so due to ill health, receive an increase of $180,000 per year, up from $96,000 for 10 to 20 years service, and persons with upwards of 20 years of service getting $228,000 per annum, up from $144,000.
The proposals are expected to facilitate increases to some 21,901 of the 25,370 pensioners paid by the Accountant General’s Department, representing approximately 86 per cent of beneficiaries from this source.
Approximately 3,000 pensioners are paid by other agencies, such as local government authorities and statutory bodies. The $500 million earmarked will see $462.31 million being allocated for payments by the Accountant General’s Department, and $37.69 million by local government authorities and statutory bodies.

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