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2021 Budget: Ken Ofori-Atta justifies imposition of proposed new taxes

Ken Ofori Atta New20202 Finance Minister designate, Ken Ofori-Atta

Wed, 17 Mar 2021 Source:

Finance Minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta has affirmed that the imposition of proposed new taxes in the government’s 2021 Budget and Economic policy statement is justified.

The development comes after the Caretaker Finance Minister, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu in presenting the budget before the House on March 12, 2021 announced a number of new taxes.

They include a 10 pesewa increase per litre for diesel and petroleum products, a Sanitation and Pollution Levy (SPL), a Financial Sector clean-up Levy, an Energy Sector Recovery Levy and a COVID-19 Health Levy of Value Added Tax.

Following the announcement, a cross section of the Ghanaian public bemoaned the introduced of the new taxes.

Making an appearance in a virtual post-budget forum organised by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the finance minister-designate, Ken Ofori-Atta submitted, “If you look at the taxes, we do have issues of Sanitation and the Delta fund for energy and those have to be tackled. So, the petroleum taxes are supposed to help contribute towards that.

“Then we have the one percent of VAT which essentially is looking at making sure that we are able to pay for the vaccines and get our people working, so we don’t have lockdowns and so that our infrastructure for healthcare will be a lot more robust.”

He further held, “Our financial sector also has attacks. All of these associations somehow have an impact on revenue collection. There has to be a collective responsibility on that. We have seen the robustness of the sector over the past three or four years, and therefore I’m roping them in on their part as a shared burden philosophy in terms of the way forward.”

Ofori-Atta is currently in the United States where he is seeking attention for post-COVID complications. He is expected back in the country following which he will appear before Parliament for vetting in order to officially serve as Finance Minister.

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