A Lecturer at the University of Education, Winneda, Dr Bernard Tutu-Boahene has questioned the government’s decision to introduce new taxes in the budget statement without increasing the wages and salaries of workers.
He stated that the government had no business introducing new taxes when the salaries of the people have been stagnated.
To that end, the government said in its budget statement for the 2021 fiscal year that “Government in 2020 outlined a number of initiatives to cushion the effect of the pandemic on the populace.”
The authority has introduced new taxes to enable it deal with the impact of the virus.
The government proposed in the 2021 budget statement which has since been approved by the legislature 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 among other things.
But contributing to a discussion on this issues on the New Day show with TV3’s Johnnie Hughes, Dr Tutu-Boahene said if the government was not going to increase wages of workers then there was no need for these new taxes.
He stressed the government had “no business” introducing new taxes.
Meanwhile, former Member of Parliament for Bantama, Mr Daniel Okyem Aboagye has justified the introduction of new taxes in the budget statement for the 2021 fiscal year.
He believed that the introduction of the taxes is better than going for loans which future generations will have to pay.
His comments come after Bawku Central lawmaker Mahama Ayariga said it is unfair for the Akufo-Addo government to be taxing the people of Ghana over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Ayariga said while speaking on the Key Points Programme on TV3 Saturday March 20 that the freebies provided to Ghanaians during the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic were presented to the people as gifts, hence no one expected to pay for those giveaways again.
Mr Ayariga told host of the Key Points Abena Tabi that “The taxes are unfair to Ghanaians. Because the relief packages were presented to us as gifts only to be told today that we are going to pay for them.”
He further stated that the solution to solving negative impact of the COVID on the economy is not increasing taxes, rather improving on the collection of the already exiting taxes.”
Mr Okyem Abogaye noted that the government could not have borrowed to deal with the ravages of the covid on the economy because that would have worsened the debt situation.
“To me it is matter of what we will to do as a nation. Do we want to borrow and put all the burden on future generation or do we have to try and support the government to be able to undertake its development agenda?” He asked.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana