Finance Ministry Says Cabinet Not JSC’s Makes Policy

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Finance Ministry Says Cabinet Not JSC’s Makes Policy

The Minister of Finance Colm Imbert, MP, says that he has taken note of media coverage of a recent discussion in a Joint Select Committee of Parliament where an Opposition MP proposed the imposition of new taxes on cultural artistes.

He says the Minister of Tourism and Culture has already debunked the false narrative that that Opposition MP’s random thought was a Government plan.

However, it appears from the coverage and commentary that followed the JSC meeting that there is a mistaken belief that a JSC is a policy making body and that a JSC has the power to change tax laws or to initiate such a process.

He says it also appears that there is a mistaken belief that if any member of a JSC proposes something, including Opposition MPs, however outlandish their proposals may be, that these proposals will automatically find their way into the Government’s fiscal measures.

He went on to explain Parliamentary Committees, while essential for our system of democracy and for transparency in matters of State, are simply empowered to enquire into, and examine and report on, various matters.

He said unlike the Cabinet, JSCs are not responsible for initiating and deciding on policy or the direction and control of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and a JSC certainly cannot formulate a plan to impose new taxes.