Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu has served notice to Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta that the events of 1995 will guide the sides’ debate on the 2.5% increment in the Value Added Tax (VAT).
According to him, for an administration that bastardized the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government while in opposition 23 years ago for implementing VAT, it is not even hesitant in the desire to increase the tax even in the middle of an economic crisis.
He argued that by morality the contradiction of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the VAT during its implementation and where it stands on it should be questioned.
Speaking at the post-budget workshop on the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu stressed this tax instrument remains the best for Ghana.
He said, “How I wish we live the 1995 years again when, then opposition, you saw no good in the NDC, at least today there is some good in the NDC.”
“That the VAT, a tax instrument, which rakes in GH¢15 billion annually was the thinking and thought of the party you so-thought could not make any meaningful contribution to our national development effort.”
The Minority leader, however, expressed concern about the impact of the 2.5% on businesses and the private sector and questioned whether it will not be a disincentive to growth and to an already struggling and ailing private sector that is struggling to cope with the cost of doing business.
Speaking on e-levy, Haruna Iddrisu stressed the Minority will subject it to a critical thorough discussion and further consultation but stressed removing the threshold and reducing it to 1% is not enough.
He urged the Minister of Finance to consider other scenarios of perhaps 0.5% at a threshold of GH¢300 compared to the 1% at a threshold of 0%.
He insisted the e-levy should certainly not be on every amount and citing an example said, “Assume a poor son abroad send the mother US$50 dollars and that is to be changed and remitted to support the medical care of the mother, what will be the rate of e-levy?”
He urged the Minister to consult further and assured the Minority is amenable to consultation on the matter and ready to help resuscitate the economy in a matter that respects all views.