Despite many public statements at the highest level assuring commitment to environmental protection and sustainability, the Jamaican government has failed to operationalize these promises. Deforestation, soil erosion, degradation of coastal ecosystems, over-fishing, poor air quality, poorly managed parks and protected areas, pollution of harbours, rivers, streams and aquifers, unplanned and unregulated settlements in areas most vulnerable to natural disasters, inadequate management of solid and liquid waste, and poor development planning and control are key features of the state of Jamaica’s natural environment. It has long been recognized that the weakness of the environmental regulatory and institutional framework is the primary obstacle to good environmental stewardship.
A country’s ability to mobilize revenue through taxation (i.e. to have an effective tax system) is synonymous with its capacity to achieve sustainable growth and development. Through taxes, the state receives the funding necessary to perform its functions and duties effectively. As such, the first and often the main objective of a tax system is to generate sufficient revenue to finance public sector activities in a non-inflationary way. This report focuses on the relative effectiveness of different tax types–value added taxes, income taxes, and property taxes – to generate revenue in the Jamaican context. It assesses and compares the efficiency of each tax type.
Jamaicans must face some uncomfortable truths about our violent crime problem. One such truth is that if we are to significantly lower the rates of homicide and other violent crimes and weaken the power of criminal networks in the society, we cannot avoid a renewed attempt at a thorough transformation of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). This transformation should bring the force more in line with democratic policing principles and methods of work and make it more effective as an instrument of crime prevention and control.