Prepare for more taxes

Dr. Peter Phillips.
Dr. Peter Phillips.

KINGSTON — The government has hinted that Jamaicans could face more taxes when the national budget for the 2013-2014 financial year is tabled in Parliament on April 4.

However, Finance and Planning Minister Dr. Peter Phillips said any tax measure introduced will not be major.

Close to $40 billion of new taxes were imposed in the current financial year.

Responding to questions at yesterday’s post-cabinet press conference, Phillips said if taxes are imposed, these would be what he called tidying-up measures.

Meanwhile, Jamaicans are also to prepare for further cuts in government spending as Phillips said while the upcoming budget will be nominally higher than last year’s, there will be a reduction in real terms.

The Finance Minister said cabinet had instructed that specific focus be placed on social protection and children’s issues along with education and health.

He said even in the context of reduced spending, there will be an expansion in some areas.

Debate on the budget is expected to begin on April 18.

In the meantime, Phillips refused to speak definitively on the impact of the absence of an International Monetary Fund agreement even as the budget date draws near.

Phillips, however, conceded that Jamaica would not get a deal with the IMF by the end of the month. (Gleaner)

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