After spearheading months of talks with public transport operators, Minister without Portfolio in the Transport, Works and Housing Ministry, Dr. Morais Guy, on Wednesday arrived at an agreement with the heads of the island’s public transport associations for the implementation of a flat tax to be paid by operators.
The move will eventually result in the further formalisation of the public transportation sector as bus and taxi operators will ultimately contribute to statutory tax schemes. These encompass the payment of income tax, education tax, NIS and NHT contributions. This will also be advantageous to the operators who will be able to benefit from the schemes, particularly in the forms of pension entitlement and housing loans.
Minister Guy hailed the agreement as a step in the right direction and says it is indicative of the Ministry’s commitment to bring order to the sector while improving the welfare of operators who deliver a vital service to the travelling public. Additionally, the Minister commended the associations for their role in the discussions which he says signals a maturing relationship between operators and Government.
Over the next two weeks, the associations will be holding further consultations with their members to sensitise them on the new development. This will be in collaboration with the Transport Authority.
Among the other state bodies which participated in the talks were Tax Administration Jamaica, the National Housing Trust, The Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the Ministry of Finance.
[Press Release: Ministry of Transport & Works]