Removing taxes won’t impact negatively on our finances – Ofori-Atta

Ken Ofori AttaFinance minister-designate, Kenneth Nana Yaw Ofori Atta, says the government’s decision to scrap some taxes would not have negative effect on the country’s finances but bolster the growth of the economy.

At his vetting Friday, Mr Ofori-Atta said the move must not be seen as though Ghana would lose a lot of income, stating “I don’t look at it as how much we are going to lose because I really look at it as stimulus”.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the run-up to the December 7, 2016 election promised to review a lot of taxes and scrap some of them which he described as “nuisance tax” with the view to cushioning businesses to create more employment.

Many analysts have criticized the move which they argued, have the potential to impact negatively on the finances of the country and ultimately affect developmental projects.

But Mr Ofori-Atta argued that ensuring that the economy grows from the current three per cent to about five per cent will generate about a billion dollar for the country.

Mr Ofori-Atta further observed there are a lot of leakages in the finances of the country, noting “those type of leakages could amount to one to five percent of the GDP. Five per cent of GDP let say, will be about 2 billion dollars  and that’s 8billion cedis”.

For him, stopping those leakages and with a five per cent of economic growth will bring a lot of resources to the public purse.

Making reference to an Auditor General’s report, he said the said report at some point did indicate a leakage of over six billion cedis, indicating that such amount is something that can be used properly if the economy is better managed.

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“We are currently spending over 2 billion dollars in paying interest alone and at the same time increasing our primary balance which is negative,” he stated.

He added: “When you begin to relieve yourself of all these, that’s incredible amount of money we can save. So this is where the hope is for me…There is a lot of space to be able to do that”.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana