According to the information gathered by pulse.com.gh, the Deputy Minister-designate of Finance Abena Osei Asare has said Ghanaians must get ready to pay more taxes to the government.
She revealed that the government needs adequate support from Ghanaians to succeed in its post-COVID-19 economy recovery plan and also aid the government to embark on an aggressive domestic revenue mobilization drive to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
The Interior Minister has been tasked to develop a gaming policy to raise some revenue from the sector and road tolls are expected to be increased to embark on road infrastructure development, Abena Osei Asare said at an event organized by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, under the theme “Economic Revitalization Amid COVID-19 Pandemic: The Civil Society Organizations’ Perspective”.
The Chairman of the Finance Committee of Parliament, Kwaku Kwarteng, also justified the decision by the government to increase taxes in the 2021 budget statement.
He explained that the government is seeking to introduce the taxes to allow it to continue to provide more relief to Ghanaians.
He said the “Government introducing new taxes is sensitive. It would have been an easier option not to impose taxes because it is politically attractive for us (government) to say that we are providing the reliefs in the budget, but we will not impose any taxes.
“But it will only continue to destabilize the micro-economy in the medium term, and it is the ordinary Ghanaian that will suffer.”
“What we have done is to balance government’s ability to provide more support to Ghanaians but we’ve got to balance it otherwise it will hurt the economy.”
The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah on his part indicated that Ghanaians must pay for the free provision of water and electricity introduced by the government in 2020 as part of the relief packages to bring financial and social relief and reduce the continued ravaging impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
“It [Water and electricity] was free to the people of Ghana at the time,” Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah said on Accra-based Joy FM.
“When we say free electricity it doesn’t mean that the IPP producer is also going to say because the President has said free electricity I won’t charge for it,” he added.
Speaking on the 2021 budget statement presented in Parliament on Friday, March 12, 2021, he justified the introduction of three levies and the decision by the government to increase taxes.
He said the tax measures by the government are creative and necessary to revamp and salvage the economy.
“But that 19 billion cedis have to be paid for at some point, the liabilities we have incurred has to be paid for,” he noted.
Oppong-Nkrumah stated: “So I am going back to Ofoasi to explain to my people why we need to ensure that we all pay that 1% extra so that we can continue to provide those services for the people of Ghana to protect lives and livelihoods.”