Letters to the Editor

Who can survive on $100,000 a month?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Jamaica, the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business — that is Jamaica's vision to be realised in 12 years' time but right now a telescope with super magnified lens is needed to see 2030.

Gone are the days when a salary of $100,000 is anything to write home about, and how many university graduates, if employed, are earning that amount monthly?

Let us put $100,000 into perspective for the expenses of a single person living in Old Harbour, St Catherine, and working in Kingston: rent, $20,000; utilities, $10,000; public transportation, $14,000; food, $12,000; student loan, personal care, tax and the remaining $44,000 would be in need of IMF assistance.

Please note, if transportation was to be substituted with car, rent with mortgage, and add two children, entertainment, Internet/cable, medical and miscellaneous bills then $100,000 would really look like chicken feed. If you can weather the economic storm in Jamaica with minimum wage, which was recently increased to $7,000 per week, you can make it anywhere in the world.

It is often asked, what is the church doing? But it is the preaching of faith and hope in Jesus for a better future that is encouraging many people to endure hard times and it is often that hope that keeps people sane at the end of the month.

If it was not for the church, many would have turned to scamming, corruption, stealing or seek some other illicit means to make ends meet. A particular politician angered the masses some years ago when he referred to $30 million as chicken feed. Ironically, the civil servants are not chickens but are languishing for sometime now praying for some of the 'feed' on their pay slips.

The present prime minister has shown signs that he understands the people's plight, trying to elasticise their money with the implementation of indirect taxing and a $1.5 million income tax threshold for PAYE workers, but more needs to be done.

Living in Jamaica should automatically earn you a first degree in accounting with the magical debiting and crediting that has to be done monthly to survive.

Hezekan Bolton


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