Mark Golding, Opposition Spokesman on Finance, has taken the government to task for what he says is a delay in giving the public a break from taxes.
In his maiden presentation in the House of Representatives as the Spokesman on Finance, Mr. Golding charged that the PNP had laid the foundation for no new taxes prior to leaving office in early 2016.
"The reason why you had to introduce ($)13 billion of new taxes in 2016 was to pay for your 1.5 (tax package), otherwise there would have been no new taxes in 2016. The only taxes that you imposed in 2017 were to pay for the second phase of the 1.5. So, Mr. Speaker, your 'no new taxes' is three budgets late and your government is fully reponsible for the delay," he contended.
Mr. Golding also blasted what he said is the missed opportunity this year to cut taxes, despite collections being $5 billion above target for the current fiscal year and a projection in excess of $40 billion for the upcoming fiscal year.
"The minister has not chosen to take even a likkle bit off a the annual ($)30.9 billion of additional indirect taxes that have hit the wider society, especially the vast majority who have never benefited from the 1.5; not even one per cent off the GCT, minister; not a single tax break for the unemployed, the minimum wage earner, the pensioner," he chided.
Mr. Golding also charged that the government's 'five in four' economic growth target has failed.
"The fanfare about achieving five per cent GDP growth in four years, the much hyped 'five in four' has now been discarded," he purported.
"Many of you now wonder if it was ever a serious target or was just a grand public relations scheme. We are also alarmed that the government has made a significant downward adjustment to its medium term growth forecast, confirming that the five in four was never a real target," the Opposition Spokesman suggested.