2021 budget approved
Parliament has approved President Akufo-Addo’s budget statement for the 2021 fiscal year.
The voting was 137 from the side of the Majority and 134 from that of the Minority.
Three Minority MPs were, however, absent during the proceeding today, Friday, March 19, 2021.
The Minority had threatened to vote against the budget because they argued the imposition of the new taxes would lead to hardship in the country.
The Minority earlier rejected the outcome of the voice vote, following which the Speaker granted the application of the Minority for a headcount amid controversy on the Floor.
The government will be introducing a Covid-19 Health Levy on VAT, Flat Rate Scheme (VFRS) and 1% on National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) as part of the revenue to help recover the economy.
Also, the government has announced 5% on profit-before-tax of banks as the financial sector clean-up levy.
This is to help defray the outstanding commitments in the sector.
Aside from that, the Government has instituted a sanitation and pollution levy (SPL) of 10pesewas to keep the environment clean.
Fuel prices would also go up by 5.7%, Caretaker Finance Minister Mr. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu announced when he read the budget last week.
But reacting, the Minority stated that the imposition of the new taxes are unjustifiable because they have come at a time the private sector is struggling to stay on its feet following the negative impact of COVID-19.
The Minority leader Haruna Mr. Idrrisu said the taxes were likely to distort and impede investment decisions.
He admitted post covid calls for collective sacrifices to rebuild the distressed economy but ”is this government leading by example? Are they engaging in expenditures that convinces us that we all should tighten our belts and accept their new imposition of taxes?