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2023 Budget anchored on four key programmes to achieve debt sustainability

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Fri, 25 Nov 2022 Source: GNA

Dr John Ampontuah Kumah, a Deputy Finance Minister, said the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy are anchored on four key programmes to achieve debt sustainability.

These programmes are the International Monetary Fund (IMF); Debt Exchange Programme through aggressive revenue mobilization; building local capacity for exports; and Social Protection Programme to provide a safety net for the poor.

He said the government hoped the move would bring the debt of the country to a sustainable level.

Commenting on the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presented by Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, to Parliament on Thursday, John Kumah said: “The government is going on an aggressive revenue mobilisation path thereby raising VAT by 2.5 percent and bringing the E-levy down from 1.5 percent to 1 percent.”

He said the government was building local capacity for exports by improving agricultural produce through the creation of conducive environment for farmers to thrive.

The property rate tax is also ready for implementation to support the Debt Exchange Programme.

Providing a safety net and social protection programmes for the poor were major projects to be enhanced by increasing the current beneficiaries of the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP) at 320,000 to 450,000 with a corresponding increase in their GH¢45 monthly payments to Ghc95 bi-monthly, he said.

The LEAP provides cash transfers to very poor people, particularly in households with orphans or vulnerable children, the elderly, and people with extreme disabilities.

Other social protection programmes would also be reviewed to ensure efficiency, including increment in the school feeding rates for caterers, Mr Kumah said.

“Government is committed to expanding coverage to all 2,500,000 extremely poor individuals as estimated by the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS 7) by 2024,” he quoted from the Budget Statement.

He said the expansion of the programme would have a long-lasting impact on the development of the human resource base of the country and improve living standards of the vulnerable.

Established in 2008, the LEAP aimed to support the poorest families in Ghana to better meet their basic needs, prioritise health, enrol children in school and improve their attendance, increase savings, work and invest more to pull themselves out of poverty.

Currently, it supports 1.5 million extremely poor Ghanaians from 344,023 households across the country while providing support for the elderly aged 65 and above, and the severely disabled.

Source: GNA
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