Jamaicans will begin paying general consumption tax on patties, raw food items and other basic foods today, as parts of the government’s recently announced tax package comes into effect.
Consumers will notice that the new GCT rate of 16.5% is now applicable to flavoured milk, some processed fish products, buns, crackers, biscuits, corned beef, rolled oats and syrups.
The new arrangement for GCT on electricity will also come into effect today.
The tax will now apply to usage above 300 kilowatt hours up from 200 kilowatt hours, but the rate has been increased from 10 to 16.5%.
As of today, the fees for licence plates, motor vehicle registration and fitness will go up by 50%.
The government is hoping the new measures will help it to meet a more than $19 billion revenue target to support the recently tabled budget.
However, making his contribution in the budget debate yesterday, the opposition leader, Andrew Holness, said it was unconscionable that the government has widened the tax base placing GCT on certain basic food items, without putting in a system to cushion the effect on the poor.