2023 Budget: Ato Forson advises Ghanaians to prepare for additional hardship

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Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, the finance minister, did not submit a Budget Statement and Economic Policy that included the appendices to help in critical examination, according to Cassiel Ato Forson, the ranking member of the Parliament’s Finance Committee.

“What he gave to us today is nothing but grammar,” He has informed us clearly that the Ghanaian economy is in an intensive care unit…unfortunately, the dose given to us, if care is not taken, will result in our economy dying.”

he said in a statement to the media following the budget presentation.

Dr. Forson, who is also the minority finance spokesperson, questioned how young unemployment was over 50% and the value added tax (VAT) was increasing by 22%.

“Additional tax will simply mean that the people of Ghana will go through excruciating hardship going forward,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the adjustment that the minister announced did not show us how they intend to cut the government expenditure…what we can see is that the government is shifting the adjustment programme to the ordinary Ghanaian where the taxpayer will be made to pay more.”

Dr. Forson warned Ghanaians that the budget would only bring them “intense and severe hardship,” worse than what they had experienced in 1979 and I983.

“To the youth of this country, it is very evident that employment has been frozen, there is no hope for you, and regular traders are not experiencing any new developments.

“The Ghanaian people should prepare for a rise in taxes and costs of products and services as a result of the increased value added tax.

The decision to raise the Value Added Tax (VAT) by 2.5 percent has been announced by the government.

This will raise the tax rate from its existing level of 12.5% to 15.0%.

The Finance Minister stated that the review will directly help the digitalization agenda and road development projects when he presented the 2023 budget to Parliament on Thursday.

The decision to raise the Value Added Tax (VAT) by 2.5 percent has been announced by the government.

Ken Ofori-Atta claims that the upward adjustment is a government policy “to aggressively mobilize domestic revenue.”

Among others, the Minister said government will fast-track the implementation of the Unified Property Rate Platform programme in 2023.

He also revealed that the E-Levy Act will be reviewed.

“The headline rate from 1.5% will be reduced to one percent (1%) of the transaction value as well as the removal of the daily threshold,” he divulged.

“Review the E-Levy Act and more specifically, reduce the headline rate from 1.5% to one percent (1%) of the transaction value as well as the removal of the daily threshold,” Ofori-Atta stated.

In other words, the restriction that only transactions that total more than GHC 100 per day qualify for E-Levy deductions would be lifted.

So, even if you send only GHC 5, GHC 1, or GHC 50, E-Levy will be applied.

In March 2022, the Electronic Transfer Fee Act, 2022 (Act 1075), which levies a 1.5% levy on electronic transactions, was controversially enacted.

The fee was reduced from the previously intended 1.75% to 1.5 percent.

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com

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