Jamaica Chamber Of Commerce Bullish About Ja But Sets Agenda For Pushing Tax Changes

The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce says it continues to be bullish about the Jamaica. It said the signs in the economy, based on several achievements, are good for investors.

At the same time, the JCC says it has several things on its agenda this year including pushing for removal of several taxation measures to be replaced by a indirect taxation and the long term removal of income tax.

President of the JCC, Lloyd Distant Jr., was outlining the concerns and plans of the JCC on Wednesday, January 9, at a meeting of the Lions Club at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in St Andrew.

Mr. Distant said the JCC believed that the country has a stable and encouraging macro-economic framework. These he said include the predictability of a low inflation rate, the relative stability of the exchange rate, the progressive lowering of the debt-to-GDP ratio, the general movement downwards of interest rates and the vibrancy of the stock markets.

Mr. Distant said that the Chamber was of the view that Jamaica was still quite some distance away from having an optimal enabling environment, and that one of the key areas for attention is the establishment of a rational and simple income tax system. “We continue to be constrained by a system of high direct taxation that penalizes a small sector of the society (and which includes a suite of nuisance taxes and fees) and it is our contention that we must move towards indirect taxation and the revocation of taxation on dividends, the removal of the Asset Tax and the withdrawal of the Minimum Business Tax.”

He said the JCC’s membership has charged the Board with working toward the abolition, in the long term, of income tax.

He said the Chamber was optimistic that it was now seeing the early stages of the long-overdue redevelopment of the downtown Kingston Business District.


By: Franklin McKnight

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