Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu says government’s Budget 2022 dubbed ‘Agyenkwa’ cannot be reduced to a propaganda budget.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, following the presentation of the budget by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, the Majority leader, stated that what government seeks to do is provide Ghanaians with a new beginning next year.

“This nation must develop, Covid-19 or no Covid-19. This budget is set to give this country a new beginning.  A watershed budget that will mark a new beginning – to break away from the past and give Ghanaians a new beginning. The many initiatives contained in the budget are cleared for everybody to know.

“The Minister has not shied away from admitting that indeed there are downsides to our development agenda. However, this budget is not a propaganda budget,” he said.

Whiles presenting Budget 2022, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta admitted that the incumbent government has not eliminated suffering in the country.

However, “have done more in terms of social interventions than any other government since 1992 and certainly more in this regard than the NDC governments.”

The Finance Minister assured of government’s commitment to work towards mitigating the burdens imposed by the global impact of Covid-19 on Ghanaians as well as “tackle the social ills of expenditure control, corruption, recurring leakages and low
productivity.”

But Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Casiel Ato Forson, says otherwise. Interacting with the press, he noted that government has introduced new additional taxes rather than alleviating the recent hardships.

“The Bawumia-led economic management team has sought to impose more suffering and pain on the ordinary Ghanaian by punishing them with additional devastating taxes and other fiscal measures in the budget. From the evidence presented to us in the budget statement, this government is increasing its revenue by ₵25billion in one single year.

“This government has done a catastrophic reversal of the populace benchmark value discount. The reversal of the benchmark value discount will immediately result in a 25 to 30 per cent increase in the prices of imported commodities to make life almost impossible for million of Ghanaian households.

“We think this is not acceptable, and we will advise ourselves,” he explained.

According to him, the minority is bent on not approving the budget until the incumbent government accounts for President Akufo-Addo’s recent foreign travels that have negatively impacted the public purse.

Government introduces Electronic Transaction Levy

Mr Ofori-Atta says government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

The Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy covers electronic transactions, including mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances.

1.75% to be charged will be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

According to the Finance Minister, to safeguard efforts being made to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable, “all transactions that add up to ¢100 or less per day (which is approximately ¢3000 per month) will be exempted from this levy.”

The levy supposed to take effect next year January after Parliament approves the budget will be used to support
entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others.