Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has made overtures to the Minority in Parliament with a promise the concerns they have raised in the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government will be addressed at Committees.
The Minority listed six conditions they want the government to capture in the Budget for redress that include the E-levy, sea defence project against tidal waves in the Volta Region, Aker Energy shares, removal of the benchmark values, and the Agyapa gold transaction.
Winding up debate on the Budget in Parliament on Tuesday after the confusion that rocked the House last Friday, the Finance Minister explained that government is in discussion with the Telcos to scale back to moderate the impact on Ghanaians to manageable levels.
He, however, noted that government cannot dissolve its resolve to get the type of resources it needs to turn the corner.
The E-Levy, he said, will enable the administration to tackle the three issues of debt sustainability, infrastructure and most importantly of employment.
According to Mr. Ofori-Atta, 8% (2.4 million) of Ghanaians bearing the burden for the 30 million people is a poor reflection of its 14% revenue to GDP ratio.
He said, “This is a poor reflection of the country and this must change. We must all at this time bear the burden together.”
He stressed that in the 2022 Budget, the concern for the living conditions of the people is evident.
“We eliminated the tollbooths; we increased the level of taxation from 200 to 500,000 so that fewer people will be taxed; reduce the tax for small scale miners from 3% to 1 ½ %.”
“We extended the VAT flat rate and we introduced a GH¢10 billion programme to ensure that our youth have jobs,” he added.
According to him, as a nation, there is a need for burden-sharing and sacrifices from all Ghanaians to cross the Ghana beyond aid that the state is aspiring for.
“Mr. Speaker, I assure the minority that in Committees all of these issues will be addressed and we will establish a budget that will build an entrepreneurial nation, resolve unemployment problems, resolve those debt problems and ensure that the roads that we all require are constructed,” he stated.