Leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, is urging the government to begin implementation of the tax reform measures.

Mr. Holness, who was making his contribution to the 2012/13 Budget Debate Thursday May 31 in the House of Representatives, said that tax reform is necessary to increase compliance and broaden the tax base.

“In the context of Jamaica, tax reform must be used as part of our growth inducement strategy,” he said, adding that the reforms should become part of the process to “progressively equalize imbalances and remove distortions in our economy.'

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, in his Budget Debate presentation on May 24, said that elements of the reform package will be incorporated in this year’s budget and will be implemented over a three-year period.

The new measures include: reducing distortions through drastic reductions in tax incentives and waivers; widening the tax base for both corporate income tax and consumption taxes; legislative and administrative amendments to increase compliance; and lowering of rates, including personal income tax.

He also advised that the committee, which considered the Green Paper on tax reform, has completed its deliberations and a draft report on the findings has been prepared for final consideration by the House.

The report of the committee will help to form the basis for a White Paper to be presented to Parliament before the House takes its summer recess.


By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter

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