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Don’t leave Senate out of tax reform debate — Norman Grant

Monday, March 19, 2012    

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GOVERNMENT Senator Norman Grant is calling for the Green Paper on Tax Reform which was brought to Parliament last year to be debated in the Senate.

The Green Paper has been before a Parliamentary Committee since last July when it was convened under the tenure of the former Jamaica Labour Party administration. The Committee has received 27 submissions from business and professional organisations, civic groups, trade unions, academics, workers and the general public on the Tax Reform Green Paper which was tabled in the House of Representatives that last.

The Green Paper suggests among other things a reduction in the rate of the General Consumption Tax (GCT) from 17.5 per cent to 15 or 12.5 per cent but linked that to a suggestion to reduce the number of items on the zerorated or tax-exempt list. It also proposes that the five per cent advance GCT now charged on the importation of goods be abolished and replaced with an advance five per cent on the cost, insurance, freight (CIF) fee paid by commercial importers, except for bauxite and petroleum.

At the end of the consultations, the feedback will result in a white paper reflecting a policy position that is expected to be promulgated and implemented this year.

Making his request through a Private Member’s Motion tabled in the Senate yesterday, Grant pressed the Upper House to debate the proposals contained in the Green Paper and make its recommendations to the Cabinet.

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