Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance

Proposed increases in the rate of value-added tax have been frozen, sources close to the government have indicated.

Joy Business sources say Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta’s proposals to increase the VAT rate to meet revenue shortfalls were shot down by President Akufo-Addo at an emergency Cabinet meeting.

The president, the sources say, was concerned that any such increases would impose a heavy burden on the general citizenry.

He, therefore, tasked Mr. Ofori-Atta to explore some other innovative revenue-generating measures to bridge the gaps.

Speculations and their attendant anger, especially on social media, about an imminent three and a half per cent increase in the VAT rate (17.5% to 21%) were rife late last week and the beginning of the week.

Read: Employers ‘frightened’ by taxes, worry VAT hike could wipe out businesses

Close associate of the president Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko’s Facebook asking whether people would support tax increases to enjoy free education, healthcare among others triggered suspicions tax increases were in the offing.

Finance Minister Ofori-Atta appeared to lend credence to the speculations when he dithered in answer to a question whether the VAT rate was going to go up.

Source: Joy Online