JIS News

Minister of Energy and Mining, Hon. James Robertson, has stated that the General Consumption Tax, (GCT) to be applied to electricity as part of the Government’s latest tax package will not be retroactive and will be applied effective in March.
The Minister’s statement follows the announcement by the Prime Minister, the Hon Bruce Golding, in December that GCT would be applied to electricity for residential and commercial customers as of the beginning of 2010.
In an interview with JIS News, Mr. Robertson said that despite the announcement that the tax would come into effect on January 1, the Government had expected to grant the JPS a moratorium of one to 60 days to allow the company to prepare for the collection of the new tariff.
“Once you are implementing new systems, what you will find is that billing systems, computer programmes for Government agencies and other entities have to be amended, so you have tolerance levels built in to account for these delays,” Mr. Robertson said.
“You also have to understand that there is no other way to do it, because when you are implementing taxes you do not forecast or forewarn, there are things that have dates and you implement as quickly as you can,” he explained.
He confirmed that in depth discussions were held, prior to the Prime Minister’s announcement of the new tax on December 17, with relevant stakeholders.
The tax applies to electricity usage that exceeds 200 kilowatt hours for residential customers, and to total usage by commercial and industrial customers. The Government first announced the tax on December 17 at 17.5 per cent before revising it on December 23 to 10 per cent.

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