December 5, 2022

The Minority Caucus in parliament has made clear their objections to certain aspects of the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government and vow to reject those aspects as they deem them inimical to the very existence of Ghanaian in these difficult economic times.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu flanked by his colleagues from the Minority at a press conference on Monday December 5, 2022 said they remain resolute in objecting to the E-levy, the 2,5 percent increase in VAT, the National Cathedral, and the debt restructuring.

Mr Haruna said their position on the E-levy has not changed, and not even its reduction to 1 percent is acceptable. “It is a setback to this cashless economy”.

He said they are also astonished to learn in the Budget that the GHS 100 threshold for e-levy deductions has been abolished. “How come that the threshold is being abolished. How do we protect the vulnerable poor?

He added that at least a 300gh threshold with a reduction in the principal from 1.7 to 1% will be ok. “You recall my suggestion of a 1% levy at a threshold of 500, which was out-rightly rejected by Government at the negotiations. This was part of the discussion when we rejected “AGYAPA”, he staed.

Debt Restructuring
On debt restructuring, Mr Iddrisu said the form and structure of this debt restructuring is unacceptable to the NDC Minority, stating that they simply cannot agree to this as it has dire consequences on the financial sector, on pension funds and on jobs.

He said the Minority is unable to help the government at this point as it warned them ahead yet they failed to heed those warnings.

He asserts that the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has himself made it categorical that “Ghana’s debt is unsustainable and we cannot service it fully if we do not restructure some GHc 137 billion of our domestic debt”.
National Cathedral 80 Million Ghana Cedis.

According to the Minority, the GHS 80 million earmarked for the National Cathedral does not constitute a spending priority at this time as it will bring the total amount spent on the project to about GHS 420 million, the total amount of tax payer funds so far spent. The estimated total cost of the project is around 400million dollars, and wondered if the project constitutes a national priority.

“For a government that is unable to print textbooks for basic school pupils several years after introducing new curricular unable to pay NABCO arrears and that is indebted to contractors and suppliers to the tune of over GHS 40 billion, this is most imprudent and unacceptable”.

The Minority described the 2.5 increase in VAT as a pile up of more hardships on the people of Ghana.

“The most punitive among these taxes is the addition of 2.5% to the VAT rate bringing it to a cumulative 21.5% (made up of 2.5% GETFund, 2.5% National Health Insurance, 1% Covid Levy and 15% VAT all levied under the terms of Value Added Act, Act 870) the highest in Africa”.

They questioned the moral right of President Akufo-Addo to increase VAT by 2.5% when he led the “KUMI PREKO” demonstration in 1995 resulting in the loss of five lives.

According to the Minority, the high rate of inflation has already eroded the disposable incomes of Ghanaians and they can no longer bear to give more to a government that is determined to waste our resources on extravagant living.

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