MONTEGO BAY, St James — Police maintained a strong presence at the Montego Bay branch of the Inland Revenue Department yesterday where a door was broken as motorists jostled to gain entry into the building in a last-ditch effort to capitalise on the Government’s Traffic Ticket Amnesty.
A senior cop told the Jamaica Observer that the consistently long queue throughout the day snaked its way smoothly from the main entrance gate of the premises to the cashiers in the building, following the deployment of the police.
A member of staff at the tax office told the Observer that, in addition to the police presence, the setting-up of separate lines for persons making General Consumption Tax (GCT) payments, resulted in the restoration of order.
In the meantime, there were strident expressions of discontent over what many motorists claim to be glitches in the system, which manifested in the reappearance of tickets they say were already paid.
“I can remember vividly that I got this $500 ticket on a Sunday and went to pay it the following day. However, to my surprise, when my colleagues made a check the ticket was still outstanding,” a man protested, as he stood in the long line.
“The system is a rip-off. I have already paid most of the tickets that appear on the long list they say I have outstanding,” said Devon Francis, as he looked at the list of outstanding tickets which he claimed amounted to about $150,000.
One retired civil servant, who said he came to pay an outstanding ticket, attributed the long line to the last-minute culture ingrained in the Jamaican psyche.
“Some of them did not take it serious until this last-hour stage, as they now fear that their driver’s licence will not be renewed if they fail to pay the outstanding traffic tickets,” he told the Observer.
Yesterday, there were also reports of long lines at the Inland Revenue Department branches in Trelawny, Hanover, and Westmoreland, where several motorists also complained about flaws in the system.