Finance Minister, Audley Shaw, will open the budget debate in the House of Representatives today.

Minister Shaw will tell the country how the government intends to finance the $710-billion budget he tabled in the House on February 9 for the 2017/2018 financial year.

The government is also expected to give details on how it’ll finance phase two of its income tax break.

The income tax threshold for PAYE workers is expected to be further increased to $1.5-million on April 1.

If and when implemented, all persons earning $1.5-million or less per year will not pay income tax.

The Opposition People’s National Party has warned Jamaicans to expect new tax measures to fund the increase.

This, as it’s estimated that the government will need to find $16-billion more to fund phase two of its tax break. But in an interview on Cliff Hughes Online on Nationwide 90FM in late January, Minister Shaw suggested the tax package may be less than $16-billion.

[audio_mp3 url=”″]

And, the country could also find out if the government will continue to draw down on funds from the National Housing Trust, NHT, for budgetary support.

At a press conference last week, Prime Minister Andrew Holness hinted that this could happen.

[audio_mp3 url=”″]

This is a politically sensitive issue as the now governing Jamaica Labour Party was very critical of this move by the Simpson-Miller administration when it was in Opposition.

— 30 —