Minority Leader of Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu says the Minority will oppose the implementation of the proposed new taxes stated in the approved 2021 Budget Statement.

According to him, the Minority Caucus are of the view that the additional taxes will worsen hardships in the country.

“We, the NDC minority, we stand united in opposing the imposition of new additional taxes in the policy blueprint of government because we believe that this will exacerbate hardships, contribute to the growing inequality of our economy.”

He added that this is the time that Ghanaians deserve the support of the Government, particularly industries in the private sector.

Mr Iddrisu made this statement on the floor of Parliament during the debate on the approval of the 2021 Budget Statement as presented by Caretaker Finance Minister, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu.

The Minority Leader of Parliament added that the timing and rate of the introduction of new taxes in the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic are “inappropriate”.

Referring to paragraph 254 of the budget statement, Mr Iddrisu questioned the introduction of the Covid-19 health levy saying, “Mr Speaker, was the vaccine paid or they were given for free. When government is accounting for it, were they given for free or paid for and you are using it as part of your justification to impose a levy”.

Additionally, he demanded “transparency in the allocation of resources to businesses and entrepreneurs”, adding that every Ghanaian deserves the benefit and opportunity enshrined in the 1992 Constitution and “therefore there should be no discrimination”.

Making reference to the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) “Kume Preko” demonstration held in 1995 under the Rawlings administration in protest of the Value Added Tax, Mr Iddrisu indicated that the NPP has now “found merit in it (taxes)”.

“…this government which few years ago embarked on ‘Kume Preko’ because they didn’t believe in the value of Value Added Tax…today you’ve found merit in it because it’s making meaningful contribution to government revenue”.

On the sanitation and pollution levy, Mr Iddrisu as Parliament’s committee on finance to do “a thorough work on it”.

He also assured the Speaker that his side of the house will cooperate when government gives credible, reliable, accurate information on the “dead numbers” and on the fiscal situation without trying to conceal it.

“So Mr Speaker, be assured that this opposition appreciates that we have to move the country beyond Covid and deal with the challenges of post Covid of a fragile economy,” he said.

Meanwhile, yesterday, March 19, the 2021 Budget Statement was approved by Parliament following a 137 to 134 vote in favour of the Statement.