Mr. Speaker, I wish to bring to the attention of the House, proposed changes to the tax regime that were recently approved by Cabinet that will allow for either the retention of existing benefits or the reduction in applicable taxes for certain sectors of the economy.
I. The first broad set of changes relate to:
AN AMENDMENT TO STAMP DUTY ACT TO PROVIDE FOR REDUCTION IN THE ADDITIONAL STAMP DUTY ON ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES”
Members of the House will recall that in response to a request from the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) for additional time to discuss the implementation of to the Alcohol Regime to unify the Specific Consumption Tax (SCT) on all alcoholic beverages, the Government took the decision to defer the implementation of this measure for one month for the Tourism Industry only. The tax measure resulted in a change in the rate to the tourism sector from $700 per litre of pure alcohol (l.p.a.) to a unified rate of $1,120 per l.p.a.
The purpose of the amendment is to provide for a reduction in the specific ASD paid on alcoholic beverages. The change is being taken consequent on:
- The impact that the unification of the specific consumption tax is likely to have on the tourist industry’s continued competitiveness.
- A more rigorous calculation of the revenue to be garnered from the alcohol measure which revealed that significantly more revenue would be received.
In order to counter some of the impact of the measure, the Government has taken the decision to provide tax relief of approximately J$200 million to the industry. In determining the form of relief, Government was mindful of the principle that guided the imposition of tax measure- that is the unification of the Specific SCT on all alcoholic beverages based on litre of pure alcohol (l.p.a.) In light of this another form of tax relief was contemplated and the ASD regime was chosen as the best option…READ MORE