Usually on a Friday I like to post something on a light note, or even post a picture of some hot, sexy female scantily clad. And don't be fooled by the picture above, I am not even reviewing a movie! However this is not an ordinary Friday, it is the real Black Friday, not the one where you get to buy your desire at half the price, but one where you will want to hold on to your money for dear life! What is so bad about this Friday, and it's not Friday 13th?
Well, it's what was announced Thursday, that made this Friday so dark and gloomy. The Prime Minister and his henchman Audley Shaw announced yet another new set of taxes to the nation in Gordon House on Thursday afternoon! This is not just another ordinary tax package, but the mother of all tax packages that has been announced in the past, yes this one supersedes all the previous tax woes on the nation of Jamaica! Instead of being merry and enjoying the upcoming season, Jamaicans have been plunged into a solemn mood, by a picture painted with more hardship for the poor and the struggling working class of this island. But really, can one pronouncement be so bad?
Well remember a few months ago the government introduced new taxes on the poor Jamaican people who were already suffering from high prices and low pay. This is now compounded by this heavy and burdensome increase in existing taxes and the inclusion of basically all goods and services that was not previously taxed! It's as if the government unleashed the tax floodgates on the already burdened tax payers! Now let me depress you with the details:
- The standard rate for GCT will be going up from 16.5% to 17.5%
- Motorists will again be hit with an increase in the fuel tax which will increase to 15%.
- GCT will now be applied to electricity, residential customers using more than 200 kilowatt hour each month.
- Fresh fruit and vegetables, ground provisions, meat, poultry, fish, corned beef and pickled mackerel which were previously tax exempt will now attract GCT.
- Other basic food items such as canned sardines, mackerel, bread, buns and bullas are also included on the list of taxable items.
- Persons who require medical and surgical prostheses, orthopedics appliances will now have to pay GCT for these items.
- The Special Consumption Tax on cigarettes will be increased from $8,500 per 1,000 sticks to $10,500 per 1,000 sticks to raise $1.41 billion.
- TVJ Prime Time News has noted that even sanitary napkins will be taxed!
Sources: http://go-jamaica.com/news/read_article.php?id=15347, http://go-jamaica.com/news/read_article.php?id=15346