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Agriculture sector dissatisfied with Governments new tax measures
Livestock farmers are among those in the agriculture industry, expressing dissatisfaction with the tax measures which government is proposing to impose on the sector.
Last week, Finance Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips announced that raw foodstuff (except chicken) live birds, as well as, animal feeds will attract 16.5 % General Consumption Tax (GCT) as of this Friday, June 1.
These products did not previously attract GCT.
In an interview with Irie FM News, Chairman and Managing Director of the Jamaica Livestock Association, Henry Rainford says putting a tax on animal feed is going to be devastating to the livestock industry, particularly to the pig and independent poultry broiler farmers.
Mr. Rainford says he appreciates that the government needs revenue and says that a way needs to be found to achieve this.
He proposes that the tax should not be on agricultural inputs but perhaps on the end product and imported goods.
Meanwhile, Acting President of the Jamaica Pig Farmers' Association, Annabel Williams says the tax will further negatively affect poorer farmers and rural communities.
She states that the majority of pig farmers in Jamaica will not be able to reclaim the GCT.
She says there has to be a review of the tax measures.
Ms. Williams says she agrees with government that more money needs to be collected to get the country out of debt, but she says it has to be careful how it goes about trying to achieve the revenue target.