The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said that the introduction of fresh taxes in the country is to assist the country to recover from the losses imposed by the outbreak of COVID-19.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah called on Ghanaians to aid the government in the COVID-19 recovery plan.
Speaking on Joy News on Monday, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah said; “It is fair for people to focus on the tax measures and ask questions about it. But this budget does not only introduce these revenue measures. The revenue measures are necessary because we are at a fiscal deficit of 11 to almost 12%. Debt to GDP is around 70%, in nominal terms 291 billion cedis.
“The option any government will have under these circumstances is to find creative ways of raising revenue and gradually bring back the debt and deficit to a more responsible position. There are a multiplicity of reasons for which we are here. Key among them is the COVID challenges that we are in now. If you look at what COVID has done, it has moved us from 5% to 11% and an extra 6% of GDP.”
As part of revenue steps to help the economy recover from the impact of the global pandemic, the government announced new taxes on petroleum products, a 1% COVID-19 Health Levy on VAT Flat Rate Scheme, and a 1% National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) in the 2021 budget statement and economic policy.
In response to questions about the proposed new taxes, the Minister clarified that they are intended to assist the nation in recovering from the financial hardships caused by the pandemic.
“So we cannot escape the fact that we have to share the burden at this point in time. The real focus for me is that we gather around holding the government accountable for using the money for that which it claims it is going to use it for. If you are going to increase road tolls, if all of us are going to see an improvement in the road conditions, the road contractors are been paid, they are finishing the road projects on which they are, I am not sure we will worry as much as we worry today,” he added.
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