It is being reported that the Jamaican Minister of Transport, Mike Henry, has continued to push for his government to impose a new tax on petroleum to repair and maintain  the island’s road network.

This proposal is obviously one of understandable desperation that will drive inflation in every area affecting the price of every basic item from sugar right through to water and salt not to mention light bills, bus fares, books and anything that has to be purchased.

This proposal should not be taken seriously as it is one way to demonstrate so much love for the poor by creating many more while creating a self-inflicted “bangarangic nightmare” on his government and the country.

This measure would drive inflation to unprecedented levels, and any way you look at it, a gas tax now would not be good politics or economics.

In the face of wage restraints, a contracted economy, low levels of production and hopes of  encouraging investments at all levels why add another burden and disincentive in the mix by pushing up the cost of fuel that drives economic activity?

The population is already over taxed and if you calculate your (PAYE) wages one may discover that more than 60 per cent of your salary has gone into various forms of taxes obvious and hidden. Find some other creative way Mr Henry but not an increase in the Gas Tax.

In the face of a thrust to produce more fuel efficient vhicles, in a few years the the collections from gas tax will dwindle thus the need for pushing up that tax until the tax is more than the price of the gas. A better way is to have a mileage tax instead in which would you reward fuel efficient and environmentally friendly ones. Or is government as usual  about inflicting more misery whatever the cost?

Michael Spence
P.O Box 630, Liguanea,
Kingston 6

About Mark Lee

Editor, author and writer with career spanning print, radio, television and new media.

Categories: Letters

Mark Lee

Editor, author and writer with career spanning print, radio, television and new media.

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