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Bawumia's tax amnesty proposal is unsustainable - Yusif Sulemana

Yusif Sulemana 1 .png MP for Bole-Bamboi, Yusif Sulemana

Sat, 30 Mar 2024 Source:

The Member of Parliament for Bole-Bamboi and Ranking Member on the Trade and Industry Committee of Parliament, Yusif Sulemana, has expressed concerns over the proposed tax amnesty by Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

Dr. Bawumia has promised to implement a flat tax and tax amnesty system to provide reprieve to business owners if elected president.

The proposal, which suggests a period during which taxes would not be collected, has raised questions from various stakeholders about its sustainability and the government's ability to mobilise revenue for social services.

Speaking on Joy News on March 29, 2024, Sulemana highlighted the contradictions between the estimated tax revenue of $11 billion in the 2024 budget, which he was involved in drafting, and the proposed tax amnesty for 2025.

“This idea of flat rates hasn't started today, but the way the president and the vice president are proposing it is unsustainable.

“In the 2024 budget, tax revenue is estimated to be $11 billion. And he was part of the drafting of this budget. He didn't see anything wrong with that. Now he is saying that in 2025, when he comes, he's going to have a clean sheet and he's going to ensure that there's tax amnesty. Tax amnesty means that you won't pay taxes,” he said.

He questioned how Dr. Bawumia plans to address educational and health issues without the tax revenues, especially considering the funds that are typically allocated to specific purposes like the GETFund and health insurance.

“Today, you are saying that we need 11 billion and that 11 billion will be used to solve some of our social problems. And you are saying that when you become a president, God forbid, in 2025, you're going to give tax amnesty.

“If people don't pay taxes, how are you going to mobilize revenue to be able to meet the basic things? We have people who have educational issues, who have health issues and all of that. Don't also forget that some of these taxes that we pay go into some solitary funds, what happens to those funds? GETFund is there, and National Health Insurance is there. What are you doing about them?” he said.

The MP's remarks join the debate on the feasibility of the tax amnesty and its potential impact on the nation's fiscal stability.


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