Ace Broadcast Journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni has reacted to portions of the 2021 budget as delivered by Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu on Friday, January 12, 2021.
Osei-Kyei Mensah presented the budget on behalf of the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta who is currently receiving medical attention in the United States.
As part of the presentation, he introduced some new taxes and levies aimed at helping to recover the economy which the government says has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
These levies and taxes include the COVID-19 Health Levy, Road Toll increases, Gaming Tax, Sanitation and pollution Levy(Bola Tax), 1% Increase in NHIL, 1% increase in Vat flat rate, ESLA increase, and the financial sector clean up Levy 5%.
Though tax reliefs were granted for commercial vehicles as part of measures to reduce the cost of transportation and in areas like the arts and entertainment institutions, hotels, restaurants and travel and tours, many have still reacted to the move.
For them, it is inappropriate to introduced taxes particularly at a time like this, when the economy is recovering from the harsh impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Minority Leader, Haruna Idrissu for instance, described the move as insensitive, whilst accusing the government of mismanaging the economy.
In a tweet, Manasseh Azure also added his voice;
“When the economy is shrinking and jobs are lost, you don’t tax more to “help the economy recover,” he said.