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Phillips Calls on Gov’t to Withdraw $13.5bn Tax Package

Opposition Spokesman on Finance, Dr Peter Phillips, is demanding the Holness Administration to withdraw the $13.5-billion tax package it announced last Thursday.

Dr. Phillips this afternoon continued to rip into the revenue measures to plug the gap in the budget, saying they’re unfair.

He was making his contribution to the 2017-2018 budget debate in the House of Representative this afternoon.

According to Dr. Phillips, the policy towards indirect taxation, will push more persons below the poverty line.

This, despite efforts by the administration to increase benefits to people on PATH.

He lamented that the burden of the new taxes will be felt by people who’ll not benefit from the next phase of the income tax threshold increase.

And, the Opposition Spokesman on Finance says the government has not presented a growth budget.

Dr. Phillips noted the allocation to capital expenditure in the 2017/2018 estimates of expenditure.

He says of the $53-billion projected for capital expenditure, $40-billion has been allocated for debt repayment.

He says this means $13-billion will be available for capital investment projects in the next fiscal year.

Dr Phillips says he’s also taken note of the $69-billion projected spend by selected public bodies on capital projects.

However, he says this must be viewed with caution.

According to Dr. Phillips, of the $57-billion approved for capital expenditure by those bodies, $39-billion will be spent by next week.

Dr. Phillips says there’s further cause for concern.

Dr. Peter Phillips also lamented what he says is the under-financing of the National Security, Justice, Health and Education Ministries.

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