The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah is calling on Ghanaians to embrace the new taxes proposed in the 2021 Budget Statement. The proposed taxes include:
- Energy Sector Recovery Levy of 20 pesewas per litre on the price of petrol and diesel.
- Sanitation and Pollution Levy of 10 pesewas per litre of petrol and diesel.
- Revision of road tolls
- financial sector cleanup levy of 5% on profit-before-tax on banks
- 1% COVID-19 Health Levy on VAT Flat Rate Scheme and the 1% on the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL).
According to Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the taxes are necessary to revamp the economy given the dire consequences that the coronavirus has had on the economy.
In an interview monitored by Ghana Talks Business, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah made the following statement.
“It is fair for people to focus on the tax measures and ask questions about it. But this budget does not only introduce these revenue measures. The revenue measures are necessary because we are at a fiscal deficit of 11 to almost 12%. Debt to GDP is around 70%, in nominal terms 291 billion cedis.
“The option any government will have under these circumstances are to find creative ways of raising revenue and gradually bring back the debt and deficit to a more responsible position. There are a multiplicity of reasons for which we are here. Key among them is the COVID challenges that we are in now. If you look at what COVID has done, it has moved us from 5% to 11% and extra 6% of GDP”.
He further explained that
“we cannot escape the fact that we have to share the burden at this point in time. The real focus for me is that we gather around holding the government accountable for using the money for that which it claims it is going to use it for. If you are going to increase road tolls, if all of us are going to see an improvement in the road conditions, the road contractors are been paid, they are finishing the road projects on which they are, I am not sure we will worry as much as we worry today”.