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2018 budget: Tax cuts have improved business environment – Kwaku Kwarteng

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Deputy Finance Minister, Kwaku Kwarteng says Ghanaians are beginning to see the benefits of the Economic Management Strategy employed by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), when they took over the governance of this country in January.

Mr. Kwarteng argues that it is the impact if the management strategy which was captured in the 2017 budget that has laid the foundation for further tax cuts in the recently read 2018 budget.

According to Mr. Kwarteng, the tax cuts presented in the 2017 budget have improved the business environment which has resulted in low inflation rate, lending rate and policy rate.

The Deputy Finance Minister insists that if government continues with this economic strategy which has been captured in the 2018 budget, then Ghana’s economy will see further improvements.

Ghana’s budget for the 2018 Fiscal Year, on the theme: “Putting Ghana Back to Work,” is set to translate the macroeconomic stability achieved in the last fiscal year in shared growth by energising the private sector and spurring entrepreneurship.

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, who presented the 2018 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament on Wednesday, said the broad agenda for next year was to translate the macroeconomic stability achieved in 2017 into shared growth via aggressive policies aimed at creating more opportunities for jobs.

“This theme reflects the tools provided in the 2018 Budget to energise the entrepreneurial spirit within every Ghanaian. The job of the Akufo-Addo government is to assist the people with the tools and the environment to go out there to work and earn a decent living and improve their lives. We plan on providing opportunity for as many Ghanaians as possible to initiate projects on their own,” he said.

He said the government had, in 2017, improved the macroeconomic environment, thus protecting the value of money in the pockets of ordinary Ghanaians and giving businesses the predictability space to plan and invest, thereby sowing the seeds for economic growth and jobs creation.

He noted that government was determined to reverse the trend of the past few years where businesses operated mainly to service loans, pay taxes and electricity bills.

Real Gross Domestic Products (GDP) grew to 7.8 per cent in the first half of 2017, against 2.7 per cent in 2016 while inflation reduced to 11.6 per cent at end-October from 15.4 per cent end-December 2016.

The cedi also maintained stability against the US dollar and policy rate went down to 21 per cent from a peak of 26 per cent in 2016.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

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