Okay, I’ve only read over the Budget once, and not completely in-depth yet. I’ll be doing that over the weekend, and checking a few things out as well. I hope to write a more in-depth review of it after I’ve had the opportunity to do so. Having said that, my initial thoughts are:
I welcome the expansion of the Payroll Tax from $350k to $750k. However, I do question why it is capped even there – as far as I’m concerned there should be no cap. Furthermore, I would prefer to see the tax changed from a flat tax to a progressive tax, so that people earning below $100k only pay 5%, between £100-200k the tax should be 15%, and for it to increase by 2.5% per additional $50k.
I am strongly opposed to the idea of effectively robbing the pension funds. Government discussed some years back setting up some sort of unemployment fund just in the case of a major economic disaster but decided that the economy was good so they never set it up. Had they done so when the economy was good we wouldn’t have to jeopardise our future now. At the moment though, I think we can cut down quite a bit on some consultants fees and put that money to helping out people who would otherwise rob the pensions now.
I find it surprising that public transportation still isn’t free, and would support increased taxes on grades of cars above A, as well as increases on gasoline taxes, and the money raised from this going to subsidise public transportation.
I would also like to see increases taxes on tabacco and alcohol, with the money raised going to either subsidising health costs or fruit and veg.
I think there are some misplaced priorities at the moment. I see there is an increase in funds to Tourism, and while I can understand the idea behind that I think it would be better to spend the money on repairing our general infrastructure (and help maintain jobs during the recession). Afterall, whats the point in advertising the country as a tourism destination if the product is degrading? I would particularly have liked to see an increase of funding going to the Ministry of the Environment (with long-term benefits coming to tourism in the form of eco-tourism potential, parks facilities, improvements at BAMZ), culture (with obvious tourism benefits) and infrastructure projects like a wastewater treatment plant (providing water for our plants).
I like the support for green technologies.
That’s all for now, but I’ll write more after reviewing the Budget again.