In its running criticism of the Government Tax package, Opposition Spokesman on Finance and incoming President of the Peoples National Party (PNP), Peter Phillips, made a startling disclosure about one of the plans the PNP would have pursued if they were in power-widening the tax base.
While he did not elaborate on the harm it would bring to the poor, he tried to present it as helping the poor, which is nonsense. Once the tax base is widened, even if the effective GCT rate is lowered, the poor is the one that will bear the brunt of the expanded taxes. And even more deceptive, was his assertion that by widening the tax base, it would mean lower taxes. Thats rubbish! Widening the tax base means more taxes,as Jamaicans would be paying GCT on more products, those that were exempt before. How would that benefit the poor? Not only that, but he unwittingly made it known that the party would not have raised taxes on the rich! So, by not raising taxes on the rich, and widening the tax base at the same-time, that would lead to the poor and vulnerable suffering even more.
But, what does widening of the Tax base really means? The widening of the tax base was a recommendation by the Mattalon Committee that looked at ways to reform the Tax system in Jamaica. It was one of those proposals that was met with opposition and never got included in any Government policy because of the effect it would have on the poor. A widening of the Tax base means that poor Jamaicans would start paying GCT on stuff like Sugar, Rice,Flour,Salt,Cooking Oil, Sanitary Napkins,Bathing and Washing Soap,Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Roll-on,Body Spray,Lotion, etc. And not to be outdone Christians would start to pay taxes on Bibles, Hymn Books, and other Religious Materials.In effect Peter would be taxing God and the Devil at the same time. No wonder they lost! God Couldn’t manage it!
All of those items-basic items-as they are called, would now attract GCT. These items are mostly used by everyday Jamaicans. So the poor people in this country would end up worse off by a Country mile if Peter Phillips and the PNP had won. So, how would the poor be better off? Its another of the nonsense he has exposed since he was given the long service award for being Portia’s little Poodle.
While the government did say that they wouldn’t be imposing taxes to finance the 1.5 Tax Break, that was said when they thought the levy placed on fuel that Peter Phillips, said was going to be set aside, was indeed set aside. It wasn’t! Peter Phillips conned the Jamaican Tax Payers into believing that the Gas Tax money was set aside when it was not. So, the taxes that we now faced is a direct result of Phillips recklessness! And, for a man that levied taxes on patties and handcarts operators, he doesn’t have the Moral authority to lecture anyone on Taxation.
And he lies with a passion. Claiming that his Government levied Taxes because he got a bankrupt country is one of the most barefaced lies ever told. When the JLP took over in 2007 in the worst Financial Crises in Decades, it got a bankrupt country! Yet still by 2011, the JLP had returned the country to growth! Peter Phillips then spent the next four years imposing Austerity on the backs of Jamaicans without achieving any growth in the economy whatsoever. As soon as the JlP took over,Agriculture and every other sector started growing. It is simple, really, the PNP doesn’t engender the confidence needed to achieve growth in this country, even with IMF help. The JLP on the other hand with a proven track record in growing the economy does engender that sort of confidence.
So, its the View of LBC NEWS that it would be better off if Peter Phillips sit down and go read a book or watch cartoon or something and stop making clownish statements. It doesn’t look good.