Politics of Wednesday, 18 July 2018
The ruling Akufo-Addo led government is under heavy bashing following reports that they might increase the VAT rate from 17.5% to 21%.
The Minority noted that the government’s plan to introduce new taxes and increase existing ones is unacceptable.
Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson predicted that the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta would on Thursday announce a barrage of new taxes and re-introduce some old taxes scrapped in the 2017 budget, in his mid-year budget review.
Speaking at the Minority Mid-year budget roundtable, Cassiel Ato Forson said the economy is heading towards dangerous times.
On the other hand, a Deputy Minister of Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has justified the possibility of government’s alleged decision to increase taxes; saying there is the need for government to introduce new revenue measures in order to keep up with some government programs and also deliver on key government projects.
“If you look at some of government programs that it has outlined, you will notice that the sheer numbers or the size increases as the year goes by, so year one year two, the current revenue measures may be able to accommodate it but as you are going on as the numbers increase, you will need to find new measures that will accommodate them… Admittedly we have a huge gap in this country where people are earning an income and they are not paying taxes and as a result, you have to be taxed some more,” he said on the AM Show on Joy News.
Adding his voice to the debate in a panel discussion on Wednesday’s edition of ‘Kokrokoo’ on Peace FM, the Central Regional Chairman of the NDC, Bernard Allotey Jacobs said the NPP will be cursed if they increase VAT.
“If the NPP go ahead with their VAT increment, it will be a great curse on them; you can’t spit and take it back. Ghanaians are suffering . . . even common staple foods are expensive and now you want to worsen it by bringing tax increment. We didn’t’ ask for free SHS; you said you can do it and now you have turned around to impose tax on the poor whose children are enjoying the free SHS,” he opined.