The parliamentary opposition has welcomed the government's decision to raise the duty-free threshold for personal imports come next April, but the party wants the threshold to be increased even further.
Addressing Sunday's Jamaica Labour Party conference, Finance Minister Dr. Nigel Clarke said the allowance will move from US$50 to US$100 and that the threshold for Jamaicans returning with goods bought abroad will move to US$1,000, up from US$500. The increases would take effect during the next fiscal year.
The People's National Party called the move progressive while arguing that its president, Mark Golding, had made the recommendation in the 2022 Budget Debate.
While the government's proposed increase is not as much as the US$150 Mr. Golding had recommended, Opposition Spokesman on Finance Julian Robinson said the reprieve is welcomed "given that so many consumers are facing the pressures of higher food prices, higher gas prices and generally inflation pressures".
However, he has called for the government to go further.
"We are advocating for a reduction in the cost of clearing barrels at the wharf as many Jamaicans rely on their relatives and friends abroad to send things, particularly at this Christmas period," he argued.