Baring a late rush, two petitions that have been started to force the Government to remove taxes and import duties from laptops and tablets appeared doomed to fail.
The petitions were started on the Jamaica House portal on November 17. After a petition has been started, it must get a minimum 15,000 signatures in 40 days. If that is achieved, the Government said “we’ll review your petition, and if it complies with agreed standards, the Office of the Prime Minister will issue an official response”.
One of the two petitions linked to learning devices calls for the Removal of duty on laptops and tablets. “With schools mostly going online for the new academic year, parents are struggling with cost of tablets and laptops,” the petition says. Only 461 persons had signed the petition up to Friday night. The Office of the Prime Minister will not examine it unless it gets 15,000 signatures by December 27.
The second petition calls for “Duty free for learning devices, parts and supplies for learning devices”.
It was launched on November 17.
“With the critical need for these devices, as many children get left behind, Government policy needs to be in unison if vision 2030. There should be a removal of import duties and any taxes on devices used for learning, such as desktops, laptops, tablets, similar learning devices along with parts and supplies for such devices,” the petition says.
Fewer than 200 people have signed that petition, which also goes into the trash can if it fails get attract 15,000 signatures by December 27.
Mr Julian Robinson, the Opposition Spokesman on Finance, has been calling for the removal of taxes on tablets and laptops. In the House of Representatives on Tuesday, he said that “The tax is incompatible with a desire to move forward a digital economy.”