Suitable Tax Reform Model Being Prepared – Shaw


Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, has reiterated that a suitable tax reform model is being prepared, which will seek to promote greater levels of compliance in the payment of taxes.
Minister Shaw, who was giving the keynote address at the launch of National Productivity Awareness week at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston last week, said that tax reform is a major focus of the government and a number of models are being looked at with a view to adopting the best one to go forward.
According to the Finance Minister, the move to reform the tax system “is not about increasing taxes it is about increasing our level of compliance in the country.” He said that along with a culture of productivity, Jamaicans must adopt a culture of tax payment.
“We talk about a productivity culture but we also need a culture of paying our taxes. In order for this to happen, we need a culture of good governance. I believe that when the people see good governance… where they see that we cut out waste and corruption and we can see where the tax dollars are being spent, I believe overtime, we can also get greater responsiveness,” he asserted.
In the meantime, Minister Shaw said that the government will consider the productivity incentive scheme that is being mooted by the Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC).
He noted however, that the potential for greater profitability from increased productivity should provide enough incentive for the private sector to enhance their operations.
“I therefore think that the private sector ought not to be looking at what government can do in terms of a productivity incentive scheme but what they can do to enhance profitability,” he argued.
The Finance Minister acknowledged however that the right environment must be provided for Jamaicans to become productive and the investment promotion programme must be fine-tuned to make it easier for people to invest.
Stating that approvals for buildings and sub-divisions should not take three years but three months, Mr. Shaw said that the single act of speeding up building approvals could stimulate the building and construction industry and create jobs and growth in a single year.
With the creation of more jobs, the country will be able to retain more of its skilled people and become more productive. “We have had an outward migration of skills from Jamaica. The World Bank has said that 80 per cent of our tertiary graduates are looking for a one way ticket out of Jamaica. How can we achieve significant increments of productivity growth if the wealth of our human capital feels that they must get out of Jamaica?” Minister Shaw asked rhetorically.

JIS Social