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Incoming PNP president continues to chide gov't for raising taxes to fulfil election promise

Jamaica Gleaner / The man designated to lead the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP), Dr Peter Phillips, is calling the government’s $13.5 billion tax package a ploy to keep a broken promise.

Addressing supporters in Falmouth, Trelawny Phillips said the package will result in higher electricity and transportation costs for the population. 

The government, last week, increased the special consumption tax on gasolene, resulting in a more than $5 per litre increase for motorists who purchase unleaded fuel, both 90 and 87 grades; and more than $6 per litre for persons purchasing automotive diesel.

The measure is intended to raise $7.5 billion to finance the budget, which includes an increase in the tax threshold for PAYE workers.

But while the PNP president-designate chided the government for the increase in taxes, he also chided them for the decrease in the national security budget.

Phillips noted that the decrease has come in the face of an increase in murders and shootings which have gone up by 22 per cent and 39 per cent, respectively, so far this year.

Capital and recurrent expenditures were reduced by about $2 billion when compared to the allocations for the current 2016-2017 Budget. However, the government had explained that $2 billion was used last year to finance the purchase of two ships and to pay retired senior policemen, expenditure which was not included in the 2017-2018 budget.

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