With everything happening in the world today, it’s pretty hard to see the beacon of hope. Especially in the poverty stricken island of Jamaica. Although people internationally see the beaches and tourist attractions, Jamaica has been served the recession card and with the rise in inflation and decisions of the government in power, there has not been much change.
Recently, about a couple months or so ago, the new governing body decided to allow no taxes for those earning an income below $ 1-1.2 million dollars effective July 2016 and under 1.5 million dollars effective April 2017 (Jamaica Gleaner, 2016). While this tax break was a move in the right direction and persons were overjoyed at the increased revenue being brought to them at the end of a given month, the country saw an increase in other areas. For example the gas prices. Nonetheless, persons were able to afford more and also provide for much needed expenses like schooling for their children or food for their family. Some 251,000 Jamaicans are to benefit from the move regarding the threshold which was previously at $592,800 (Jamaica Observer, 2016).
“We are extremely pleased that one of the first and very important measures this new government has now enacted is to grant tax relief to hardworking Jamaicans” – Mr. Audley Shaw, The Minister of Finance, taken from an article in the Jamaica Gleaner.
Mr. Shaw also revealed that an increase in the income tax threshold which resulted in an increase of approximately $8,490 in monthly income for Jamaicans.
However, it was also revealed that persons earning six million and over will be required to pay 30% increase in income tax, 5% more than the initial 25% stipulated as of July 2016. Statements were also made that the state’s allowance would decrease by up to $12.5 billion in revenue. This would still be made up by $13 billion from collection of taxes which increased in other areas like departure tax raised to $35 USD instead of $14 USD.
“We are however hopeful that the tax relief given to the 251,792 persons on the PAYE roster will in turn result in higher consumer spending, specifically on Jamaican-made products and services” – Jamaican Manufacturer’s Association, taken from an article in the Jamaica Observer.
The biggest strain on consumers would have to notably be the additional $7 special consumption tax on gasoline, which the Jamaica Manufacturer’s Association describes as excessively burdensome and requires careful management with the steady oil price increase.
In light of this, over-night celebrity Mr. Kingsley Morgan has made the very best of this new tax break and to express his gratitude he wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Mr. Andrew Holness.
Dear The Most Hon. Andrew Holness:
This is a heartfelt expression of gratitude for the tax break. In all honesty Mr. PM, this is not a tax break, this is a tax smash – a tax mash up. Mr. PM when I saw my pay cheque yesterday, I hummed a sweet song to the heavens. I feel like a new creation; a brand new man. I borrow from Tanto Blacks in proclaiming that I’m rich, real rich!
Mr. PM, up until Monday of this week, I’d spend conservatively but now that I’m a wealthy man, money is the least of my concerns.
This morning on my way to work I saw a $100 bill floating about on the ground. Mr. PM, you believe seh mi step pass di money like any piece a garbage? If this was last week I’d take a mad man to court just to prove that the money was mine.
With this wealth Mr. PM, I will no longer commute to work via route taxis. Weh frowsy car and sardine behavior a guh? Strictly Gadge Pro until I buy the Range Rover this weekend.
With this wealth I will not have plantain and bread and bush tea for breakfast ever again. Nope. Mr. PM, right now I’m on my way to Cafe Blue for some eggs & bacon with pancake and a cup of Cappuccino.
Mi nah lie Mr. PM, mi feel like mi need fi open a small loan company – me alone cannot enjoy di prosperity. Or maybe I should reach out to Butch Stewart and let him know I’m interested in buying some shares in Sandals? I don’t know.
Mr. PM there are so many plans I have for this wealth but I can’t write it all here. What’s your schedule like this weekend? Now that I’m in the big leagues I think we should catch up over golfing at Half Moon Resort; or maybe we can go visit President Obama and we all have a drink – you decide.
Oh by the way Mr. PM, if you selling yuh house, mek mi know.
By Alexandra Daley