The Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips has announced a raft of revenue measures aimed at raising an additional $15.9 billion.
The announcement was made in Parliament a short while ago – one week after Phillips tabled a new Supplementary Estimates of Expenditure indicating a $10 billion cut in the national budget $602.5 billion.
But despite the spending cut, Phillips said the Government is compelled to undertake the measures.
Outside of the tax measures, Phillips says the National Housing Trust will be required to contribute $11 billion a year to the Government’s coffers throughout the life of the impending four-year agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
Among the news measures will be:
*An increase in the Education Tax of 0.5 percentage points paid by employers and 0.25 percentage points by employees. However, people earning minimum wage and who are below the income tax threshold will not be required to pay the new education tax.
*An increase in stamp duty from 3 per cent to 4 per cent.
*An increase in transfer tax from 4 per cent to 5 per cent
* An increase in the tax on dividends for Jamaican residents from 10 per cent to 15 per cent.
*Lottery companies will also be asked to pay more gross profit taxes, but in exchange, lottery tickets may now be sold on public holidays and on Sundays.