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Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, has stated that taxes will not be raised in the 2010/2011 financial year, except for property tax, which the Government will have to examine.
Mr. Shaw made this disclosure as he opened the debate on the second Supplementary Estimates of Expenditure in the House of Representatives on Wednesday (March 17).
The Finance Minister stated that “no stone (will be) unturned” as the government tries to improve the compliance rate of paying taxes.
“We have a culture in Jamaica of tax evasion and tax avoidance and too few of us are the captive people in PAYE that have no say in that 25 per cent that is taken off at the top and that you have to pay,” Mr. Shaw said.
“But I have to send the signal. We want to spread the tax burden; we need fairness and equity and we need more people, everyone who is earning an income, to begin to voluntarily to comply in paying your taxes,” he added.
According to Mr. Shaw, the problem of tax evasion and avoidance is not just a monetary issue “as it comes down to the fundamental issue of public order and respect for the laws of the land.”
“So, we have to set these new standards in the country and I want to send the signal that in the new fiscal year it is going to be compliance that we are working on, not additional tax types or additional tax burden, but compliance in terms of spreading the burden across the system,” Mr. Shaw stated.