Budget 2017There are many intricacies in Budget 2017 that Government, through Finance Minister Winston Jordan, needs to explain to the country, so as to bring about understanding and relief to a confused populace.Head of the Private Sector Commission’s Economic and Finance Committee, Ramesh Persaud, said the organisation has analysed all the measures in the Budget. And while some have evoked grave concern, others need greater clarity on the reason for them being implemented in the first place.Former Foreign Affairs Minister Henry JeffreyFinance Minister Winston JordanHead of the PSC Economic and Finance Committee Ramesh PersaudPersaud was part of a panel of PSC officials who spoke with Journalists last week on Government’s $250 billion 2017 Budget.He spoke of the re-imposition of the environmental tax levy on both importers and manufacturers. This, he said, has major implications.He pointed too to the incentives to be provided for the green economy initiative. He said that that plan was a move in the right direction, and while there were not many businesses in this particular area, it could in later days open avenues for other businesses to come on stream.The Finance Committee Chairman also spoke about the changes in the tax threshold, particularly with the 40 per cent rate and one-third tax-free allowance and the comments made about allowances and benefits in kind.“We would like the Minister and his Ministry to provide greater clarity regarding the application of this measure, because it is very difficult to interpret from the Budget speech, the exact determination of this particular measure.”He said it was difficult to understand whether it would be applied under a tier system, progressively, as explained, and what were the implications for allowances, in particular benefits in kind as was being given to executives across the country; hence, greater clarity was needed.On the other hand, he said it was a positive move to raise the threshold, although it was not by as much as was proposed by the PSC, taking into consideration various economic factors.Only last week, former Foreign Affairs Minister Henry Jeffrey said while he was sure no Government set out to hinder the progress of the poor and working class, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Administration needed to dig deeper to first quell the fears of the poor by giving a clear understanding on how it intended to see economic growth during the new fiscal year.Part of the Budget, which points to a two per cent reduction in Value Added Tax (TAX), also speaks to a 14 per cent tax imposition on customers who use electricity in excess of $10,000 and over $1500 in water rates.While Jordan reminded that the Budget was intended to provide a “good life” for all, Jeffrey, a former parliamentarian, said there needed to be a thorough examination and retrospection.“I believe that many of these things that he seems to be doing in terms of the VAT and others need to be better explained. His attempt to cut the income tax threshold will essentially cause, rather than a progressive tax situation, has created a regressive tax situation. He said most of these things need to be properly explained,” Jeffery told Guyana Times.