A cousin to the President Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has waded into the ongoing conversation surrounding the controversial new taxes captured in the 2021 budget.
According to him, the government did not seek to share the burden of Covid-19 amongst the populace. He also refuted claims that Ghanaians were deceived by the free water and electricity provided last year.
Government is introducing a Covid-19 levy, financial sector cleanup levy, and two others as part of measures to shore up revenue. The proposed levy will become a one percentage point increase on both the existing VAT flat rate and a National Health Insurance Scheme.
Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah had earlier responded to concerns on the proposed new taxes, explaining that the burden brought about by the pandemic had to be shared by all. He said, “so we cannot escape the fact that we have to share the burden at this point in time.”
But Gabby via a Facebook post said “the Government is not asking you to pay for the cost of Covid-19 last year. No! That cost led to the huge fiscal burden which we do not want repeated this year.”
He noted that “the task this year is two-fold: to defeat the virus, and rebuild the economy for businesses to thrive to create jobs and put cash in the pockets of workers.”
“The 2021 budget is not asking you to pay for the cost of 2020. You are being asked to help share the burden of the existing Covid-19 costs, including vaccines for over 20 million Ghanaians.”
He added “Remember there is an equally important cost of reviving the economy through the cost of stimulus packages. Deceit is when a government pretends there is no cost to anything and uses your taxes not for the greater public good. As taxpayers, we must all consider ourselves as partners in bringing our national economy back to life even as Government continues to invest your money to save lives.”