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Parliamentary debate on 2022 budget commences today

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Members of Parliament will from today, Tuesday, November 23, 2021, begin the debate on the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy as presented by the Finance Minister last week.

The debate is expected to end on Friday, November 26, 2021.

The Minister for Finance on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, presented the 2022 budget to Parliament announcing various plans and programs on how the government intends to shore up revenue and to enhance job creation in the 2022 fiscal year.

The budget statement among other things indicated that government intends to raise revenue through the imposition of a 1.75% levy on all electronic transactions.

There’s also a 15 percent increment in the cost of all government services effective next year.

The Minister for Finance also announced the commencement of a GHS 1 billion ‘YouStart’ initiative to create jobs for the youth.

While the majority caucus believes that the budget reflects the needs of Ghanaians and necessary measures relevant for stimulating growth in the economy, the minority caucus says the budget will lead to untold hardship on the already suffering masses.

For instance, the Deputy Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of Parliament, Isaac Adongo, has taken a swipe at the government following the introduction of new taxes and revision of fees and charges.

He makes the point that the upward adjustments and the imposition of the new levies can best be seen as a convenient way to clear Ghana’s messy economy.

“When the government was borrowing, and we told them to slow down, they ignored it. Today, they are spending 113 percent of the tax collected to pay interest servicing. So they are not taxing us because they want to build roads, schools or because we are going to get drinking water. They are taxing us to pay for their mess”, he said in a Citi News interview.

The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has also reiterated that the caucus will kick against the 1.75% e-levy.

According to him, the tax is a disincentive to investments and private sector development.

“Our concern is whether the e-levy itself will not be a disincentive to the growth of a digital economy in our country. We are convinced that the e-levy may as well even be a disincentive to investments and private sector development in our country… We in the Minority will not support the government with the introduction of that e-levy. We are unable to build a national consensus on that particular matter,” he said at the post-budget workshop in Ho on Saturday, November 20, 2021.

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