Kwesi Pratt takes on NDC MPs over passage of VAT Amendment Bill

Kwasi Pratt Jnr12122 Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper

Tue, 27 Dec 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Kwesi Pratt Jnr, the Managing Editor of the Insight newspaper has criticized the Minority caucus in Parliament for not doing enough to prevent the passing of the new Value Added Tax (VAT) Amendment bill.

Pratt holds the view that if the minority caucus was determined to block the passage of the bill, they would have done all it takes to achieve that feat.

He compared them to the NPP MPs, stating that if it was the government that needed the bill to go through, they would have done everything possible to seal it.

“The vote on VAT, when they counted it, It was 136-135. Meaning that one NDC MP was not there to vote. We are being told that it was for medical reasons. Medical reasons can mean so many things.

“Maybe the father or aunt was sick. If she herself was not sick, then there is a problem. If the NPP was facing a critical vote like the VAT and one of them was critically ill and in surgery, they would have brought him in an ambulance, Let’s be serious."

Parliament on Thursday, December 22,2022 passed the Vat Amendment Bill which will see a 2.5% increment on the rate.

How voting was done

Members of the Minority argued against the upward review of the VAT rate stating such a move could compound the hardship Ghanaians are already going through.

Ranking member for the Finance Committee Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson and his deputy Isaac Adongo argued the timing was wrong.

The majority MPs, however, argued that the government needs the revenue to resuscitate the economy urging the NDC MPs to support the passage of the bill.

In the end, minority chief whip Muntaka Mubarak had to call for a head count after the voice vote.

The resistance of the NDC MPs was curtailed after the process, since they could only get 135 of their members against 136 of the majority.

Reports indicate that the decision by the minority leadership to not call for a division, that would’ve required secret voting, angered the backbenchers.

The VAT vote was the only one of eight items the minority caucus opposed in the 2023 Budget that it lost.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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