Shaw Says No Plans to Hike GCT in April


Minister of Finance and the Public Service Minister, Audley Shaw, has denied reports in the Press suggesting that the General Consumption Tax(GCT) will be raised in April.
“Nonsense. That is speculation,” Mr. Shaw reacted as he addressed the 2009 Kingston Money Expo, hosted by Today’s Money Limited, at the Hilton Kingston Hotel, New Kingston, this morning (Feb. 19).
He said that the government would be seeking to widen the tax net.
“We need to spread the burden. Everybody needs to accept the responsibility for our roads, our schools, our hospitals. We are widening the tax net. I say to everybody, pay your share and let the burden become lighter for everyone,” he explained.
Mr. Shaw said that the government was changing the way it does things in terms of tax administration.
“We are going to be having a distinct feature of international tax administration and domestic tax administration. We have already started the process of merging the Taxpayer Audit and Assessment(department) with Inland Revenue and the Taxpayer Services Department, in order to facilitate better information flows between auditing and compliance,” he said.
Mr. Shaw was fielding questions on the taxation levels, following his presentation on ‘Government’s Strategic and Tactical Response in a Challenging Economy’.
Other topics covered at the expo included: The historical and cultural value of savings and investments; Private sector initiatives to the challenges in the economy; Exploiting business opportunities and building the nation’s competitive advantage in a challenging economy; Personal financial planning and management in a challenging economy; The value of mandatory savings; The dynamics of pension and estate planning; The importance of savings and investment for national development; Money market securities and their returns; The development of small and medium-sized enterprises and their significance to economic growth.
The expo is the first of four. The others are scheduled for Mandeville, Montego Bay, and Ocho Rios.

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