New taxes by Akufo-Addo’s government are better than the reckless Mahama’s government borrowing spree.
The year 2020 presented scaring effects on the global economy after the novel Covid-19. Which country could escape from these effects? Clearly, now almost every country is undergoing sluggish economic recovery.
The outbreak of the Covid-19 has forced fiscal authorities to spend vast sums to protect their citizens and defend their economies from the colossal toll of the diseases. Ghana, our beloved country, is no exception.
Scarier spectacle captured by the African Union’s recent report on the impact of Covd-19 on the continent’s economy states that the continent could lose up to $500 billion.
The report further stresses that countries here, under this circumstance, would be forced to borrow heavily in order to survive after the pandemic. Ghana, our beloved country, is no exception to this new development.
In fact, the fat economies such US, UK, etc are even borrowing in the midst of the pandemic in order to navigate significant financial difficulties.
It is, therefore, evidentially clear that in the face of the battle against the Covid-19, governments around the world are on the cusp of becoming more indebted than at any point in modern history. This development is surpassing even the Second World War.
Globally, countries in recent times have borrowed at a breakneck pace. In effect, the Covid-19 has added close to $20 trillion to the global debt. The fact speaks for itself. In the face of these developments, Ghana, our beloved country, is no exception.
So should we also join the borrowing spree? No. So is the language of the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government. Let’s look at what we can do domestically to support and build our economy.
Locally, we can develop more pragmatic means to ensure our economy is still robust. This is a complete departure from the reckless Mahama government borrowing spree. How? We saw the introduction of certain taxes, which were captured in this year’s budget to collectively build the country’s economy with the strength of ordinary citizens and protect their livelihood.
On March 12, 2021 Ghana’s Caretaker Minister of Finance, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu read an abridged version of the budget to us in Parliament.
And these are the elaborated benefits of the taxes:
- COVID-19 Health Levy: provide the requisite resources to sustain the implementation of the measures implemented by the government to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Sanitation and Pollution Levy (SPL): provide the government with the requisite resources to implement measures that will reduce the number of deaths and diseases from poor sanitation.
- Financial Sector Clean-up Levy: this tax is to help defray outstanding commitments in the sector. This will be reviewed in 2024.
- Tax administration: this will help curb the unlawful acts by some industry players who are involved in under-reporting and evasion of taxes.
- Gaming policy: this is aimed at eliminating the revenue leakages in the sector and prevent capital flight.
- Road tolls: this is to enable the government to maintain improvements on the roads.
- Vehicle Income Tax: for vans (trotros) and taxis as part of measures to reduce the cost of transportation.
Additionally, the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia’s government is focusing on more domestic measures to address the country’s peculiar challenges in midst of Covid-19.
Under the Planting for Foods & Jobs, the farmers’ access to production inputs increased to 1.4 million and over 1.7 million farmers benefited from subsidised fertiliser.
With the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government, industrialisation drive, out of the 232 targeted factories, 107 are under construction, 76 are operational, 36 commenced construction and 13 are yet to be started.
These factories would basically process the country’s raw materials produced under the Planting for Foods Jobs. This is a focused government and our beautiful Production Theory proposed by Dr. Bawumia in opposition still holds and in full implementation to drive the economy of Ghana.
The GH¢750 million Coronavirus Alleviation Programme – Business Support Scheme (CAP-BuSS) is another laudable initiative by the government to ensure business survives around this extra ordinary times.
Simply, Akufo-Addo-Bawumia’s government is NOT taking from Ghanaians but adding and supporting to transform their livelihoods.
The plight of ordinary Ghanaian is a major concern to the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia’s government. This is why the Public Utility and Regulatory Commission (PURC) has not increased the utility tariff. Not even 0.001%.
So where from the NDC childish propaganda that the government is taxing Ghanaians because of the provision of free water and electricity during the past Covid-19 period?
By Razak Kojo Opoku