“I knew it was going to be difficult but the extent to which it is difficult surprises even me who is quite familiar with the process. It is just pani and misery.Each way you look at the budget, it is disheartening. The Minister has chosen the path of taxation and consumption suppression which have very serious implications for the poor,” Dr. Michael Adongo, a Development Economist said of the government’s 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy read on the floor of Parliament by the embattled Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta.
The path, chosen by the Finance Minister, according to Dr. Adongo doesn’t impact the lives of Ghanaians positively.
“To tackle inflation, you always have these two options, you either grow your way out of it or you tax, suppress people and hope that it would go down artificially. What we have seen now is someone who is just interested in the book value or nominal figures and not how it would impact the lives of the people. I am particularly surprised that the Minister went that far.,” he said when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today, Monday, November 28, 2022.
For Dr. Adongo, the increase in VAT by 2.5 percent, removal of the threshold of the vexed E-levy and the freeze on public hiring creates serious problems for the year 2023.
“That is the unholy trinity I am talking about here. You are looking at a situation where people’s incomes have been severely diminished, the cost of living has risen, cost of living has outpaced wage growth by multiple folds. You would think that the path that we would pursue would satisfy the consumer base and allow us to grow but here is the case you are not increasing just any tax, you are increasing the base tax; VAT. This tax virtually affects anything you buy,” he said.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana