Member of Parliament for Sekondi Andrew Egyapa Mercer has said the new taxes introduced in the 20201 budget are targeted at solving specific problems.
His comments come after Lawmaker for Tamale North, Alhasan Suhuyini has said the 2021 budget statement presented by the leader of government business Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu will worsen the condition of businesses in the country.
He said at a time Ghanaians and businesses are dealing with the negative impact of the coronavirus, the government has introduced taxes to, in his view, worsen their plight.
He added “There is the tax on sanitation that we are going to deal with. There is also the Covid levy for us to pay.
“How much more can one be insensitive? As a people we have already paid for Covid by the loved ones lost and by businesses that have been lost.”
But Mr. Mercer said on the same show that “The taxes introduced are essentially directed to solve specific problems,” he said.
The government is proposing in the 2021 budget statement the introduction of a Covid-19 Health Levy of a one percentage point increase in the National Health Insurance Levy and a one percentage point increase in the VAT Flat Rate to support expenditures related to Covid-19.
“To provide the requisite resources to address these challenges and fund these activities, government is proposing the introduction of a Covid-19 Health Levy of a one percentage point increase in the National Health Insurance Levy and a one percentage point increase in the VAT Flat Rate to support expenditures related to Covid-19,” the budget said.
A financial analyst with Dalex Finance, Mr. Joe Jackson, said the 2021 budget statement is not bold enough.
He said given the situation the local economy is faced with following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the government should have been bold enough to borrow more to deal with the ravages of the pandemic.
Prior to the budget reading, Mr. Jackson had asked the government to borrow more to deal with the effect of the pandemic.
Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, March 13, Mr. Jackson said “Nothing has changed. We are as broke as we were before Covid.”
He added “It is not bold enough. it is the easy way out because it only introduced taxes.”