According to sources – Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miler has said that the Government has broken its promise that no tax will be introduced to fund the $1.5 million PAYE break and that the poor will now suffer the consequence.

“All I can say now is that they have broken their promise but from all indication of what [Finance Minister Audley Shaw] said today, it is the poor that will suffer,” she said.

The nation on Thursday waited anxiously to hear how Shaw would fund his election promise to exempt those earning an annual salary of $1.5 million and below from paying personal income tax.

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However, he sprung a surprise by announcing that the $1.5 will be the new threshold for all PAYE workers.

At the same time, he announced new tax measures which include a $2 addition to the special consumption tax on cigarettes; a new special consumption tax regime on liquid natural gas (LNG); an increase in the special consumption tax regime on heavy fuel oil; an upping of the departure tax to US$35; and an increase from 25 to 30 per cent in the income tax rate for employees earning over $6 million per annum.

“They had indicated no new tax, they had broken their promise to the Jamaican people. It is very bad when a government make a promise and broke that promise to the people. It is very, very bad,” Simpson Miller said.

“We will be meeting with our spokespersons and we will take our position and you will be informed. I do not want to pre-empt Dr. Peter Phillips, who will talk next week,” she added.