Many Jamaicans were tense as they tuned in to Finance Minister Dr Peter Phillips’ opening of the 2014-2015 budget debates last Thursday, April 17. Everyone is already aware of the country’s financial constraints as well as the government’s desperate need to increase its revenue stream. We were promised no new taxes at the start of the year, but the minister announced $6.7 billion in additional taxes. One measure in particular has raised the ire of Jamaicans at home and abroad – the levy on withdrawals from deposit-taking institutions and encashment from securities dealers, which is expected to raise $2.3 billion.
Comments have been flowing in everyday interactions and on social media, from economists to the man in the street. Track the developing issue in the articles below.