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Deceit is when a govt pretends there is no cost to anything – Gabby on new taxes.

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Deceit is when a govt pretends there is no cost to anything – Gabby on new taxes. 3

 

 

The Akufo-Addo-led government is not asking Ghanaians to pay for the cost of Covid-19 last year, former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, has said.

Rather, he said, the budget statement for the 2021 fiscal year is asking the people to help share the burden of the existing Covid-19 costs, including vaccines for over 20 million Ghanaians.

His comments come after some Ghanaians have raised issues with the new taxes that have been introduced in the budget statement.

For instance, Lawmaker for Tamale North, Alhasan Suhuyini has said the 2021 budget statement presented by leader of government business Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu will worsen the condition of businesses in the country.

He said at a time Ghanaians and businesses are dealing with the negative impact of the coronavirus, the government has introduced taxes to, in his view, worsen their plight.

“The government introduced burdensome taxes on some companies already overburdened by COVID,” he said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday March 13.

He added “There is the tax on sanitation that we are going to deal with. There is also the Covid levy for us to pay.

Deceit is when a govt pretends there is no cost to anything – Gabby on new taxes. 4

The government is proposing in the 2021 budget statement the introduction of a Covid-19 Health Levy of a one percentage point increase in the National Health Insurance Levy and a one percentage point increase in the VAT Flat Rate to support expenditures related to Covid-19.

“To provide the requisite resources to address these challenges and fund these activities, government is proposing the introduction of a Covid-19 Health Levy of a one percentage point increase in the National Health Insurance Levy and a one percentage point increase in the VAT Flat Rate to support expenditures related to Covid-19,” the budget said.

But in a Facebook post, Mr Otchere Darko who is also a leading member of the  of the governing New Pattriotic Party (NPP) said “The Government is not asking you to pay for the cost of Covid-19 last year.  No! That cost led to the huge fiscal burden which we do not want repeated this year.  The task this year is two-fold: to defeat the virus, and rebuild the economy for businesses to thrive to create jobs and put cash in the pockets of workers.

“The 2021 budget is not asking you to pay for the cost of 2020. You are being asked to help share the burden of the existing Covid-19 costs, including vaccines for over 20 million Ghanaians.

“Remember there is an equally important cost of reviving the economy through the cost of stimulus packages.

“Deceit is when a government pretends there is no cost to anything and uses your taxes not for the greater public good. As taxpayers, we must all consider ourselves as partners in bringing our national economy back to life even as Government continues to invest your money to save lives.”

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