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New taxes are for you to share govt’s economic burden – Ofori-Atta

Ken Ofori Atta Finance Minister Agyapa Royalties Presser Finance Minister designate, Ken Ofori-Atta

Wed, 17 Mar 2021 Source:

The newly-imposed taxes announced in the 2021 budget and economic statement are meant for every Ghanaian to shoulder some of the economic burden on the government, Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori-Atta has said.

Presenting the budget on behalf of the yet-to-be-vetted Finance Minister, Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, on Friday, 12 March 2021, told Parliament that the government was introducing a 10p sanitation and pollution levy; and 20p excess power capacity levy, both on the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA) with the combined effect being an increase in the ex-pump price of fuel by 5.7 per cent.

Additionally, the government is introducing a 1 per cent COVID-19 levy on VAT, Flat Rate Scheme; 5 per cent financial clean-up levy on banks’ profit-before-tax and also considering adjusting road tolls to align with current trends.

Justifying the taxes at a virtual post-budget forum by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mr Ofori-Atta, who is convalescing in the United States after experiencing post-COVID-19 complications, said: “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 toward that”, he explained.

“Then we have the one per cent 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.”

“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,” he noted.

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