Minority members on the Finance Committee of Parliament have warned they will not entertain the 2023 Budget should government fail to drastically reduce the expenditure of government machinery.
They disclosed the budget, set to be presented to Parliament tomorrow Thursday, November 24, is full of taxes.
Member of Parliament for Asuogyaman, Thomas Ampem Darko, who disclosed this to the media in Parliament on Wednesday, November 23 said the government intends to remove exemptions on MoMo transactions and increase VAT by 2.5%, and also increase income tax.
He warned the Minority will only be amenable to some of these taxes only when the government cuts down on allocation to government machinery.
According to him, the Minority knows the Akufo-Addo government to be insensitive but expressed shock at what he says is a high level of insensitivity, especially in this time of unbearable hardships in the country.
He said, “None of us expected they will be increasing taxes to this level.”
“Our posture is that we are willing to cooperate and support the government in these difficult times because they need help. If we don’t help them this economy will crash.”
“However, the government must come clear to show they are going to reduce expenditure drastically,” he added.
According to Hon. Apem Darko, the expenditure of government machinery has increased astronomically since 2017 and argued there should be a significant cut in the budget of the presidency.
He spoke of attempts by the government to shift some of the expenditures out of government machinery to other sectors and stressed, “That is not expenditure cut.”
“They must do real expenditure cuts all over because we cannot continue to fund the unnecessary expenditures that this government is embarking on.
He called the government out to come up with clear expenditure cuts in the 2023 budget and stressed the Minority will not accept the intended 2.5% increase in VAT because that move will impoverish the ordinary Ghanaian further.
“We will not say no taxes at all because government programmes must run. However, all these taxes when introduced are just going to kill Ghanaians because of the hardships already being experienced today.
He charged the government to factor these concerns into the budget before it is presented to Parliament tomorrow.