November 15, 2013

Parliament on Friday passed the Value Added Tax [Amendment] Bill, increasing the VAT rate from 12.5 percent to 15 percent after the minority side staged a walk out in protest of the increase.

The 15 percent will be exclusive of the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) which is 2.5 percent.

The minority who criticized government for using its majority in Parliament the House to push through the increase without debate and due process described what happened in parliament as “disgraceful”.

They are of the view that for the new tax to be imposed on Ghanaians a specific legislation should have been brought before the house, deferred to a committee for an exhaustive discussion after which the bill will be debated on the floor of the house, but none of these were done.

Addressing a press conference after proceedings in parliament, the Member of Parliament for the Sekondi constituency, Paapa Owusu Ankomah , said“ I must say that the bill in question has been passed and we expect that the president of the Republic will file it into law before it defectively moves to become law”.

The Minority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu on his part described today as a day of shame and said they have “washed their hands” off the VAT legislation.

He noted that the Finance Ministry has not proffered any information explaining the reason for the proposed VAT increase.