‘Not the Right Time to Cut GCT’, says Clarke

Finance Minister, Dr. Nigel Clarke, says lowering the rate of General Consumption Tax (GCT) would be the wrong move at this time.

He’s answering repeated calls from the Opposition to cut the GCT rates.

The opposition says this would be more beneficial to more Jamaicans than the raft of tax cuts announced by the government last week. Dr. Clarke was closing the Budget Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday.

Last week Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Mark Golding, called for the reduction in GCT to the tune of $16-billion. He feels that would trump the $14-billion tax cut mostly on distortionary taxes tied to housing and business procedures as announced by the Finance Minister.

Dr. Clarke says while the move would be popular it wouldn’t be as impactful, as removing the distortionary taxes will have a far greater impact on the economy at this time. He also reasons that since GCT is charged on both local and foreign goods, lowering it would actually benefit foreign companies more.

Dr. Clarke also rubbished suggestions about removing the Special Consumption Tax on Gasoline.

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