Business News of Saturday, 21 January 2017
President Akufo-Addo’s nominee for the Minister for Finance position, Ken Ofori-Atta, has dismissed suggestions that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government’s plans to review taxes in the country are regressive.
According to him, although the government intends to widen the tax net to ensure that many more people who previously did not pay taxes do so, the situation will not engender inequality.
Speaking at his vetting at Parliament House in Accra, Ken Ofori-Atta said the responsibility of paying taxes must be encouraged among all Ghanaians.
“I don’t consider these taxes to be regressive or aimed at the poor to make them worse off,” he said. He noted that the NPP government will not undertake any activity that will worsen the situation of the poor in the country.
“As a party, I’ve seen keen interest in education and national health, and I will not presume that the underlying trigger for this is to make them worse off. I think the issue of paying taxes is something that we all have to do as citizens, and it is important that we all recognize the importance of it.”
‘NPP to cut taxes’
The NPP government has indicated it will cut down some taxes introduced under the previous NDC administration, claiming it was a lazy way of raising money for the economy. Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia heavily criticized the NDC government for the numerous taxes, while on various election 2016 campaign platforms, promising that an NPP government will remove some of the taxes.
He mentioned that the NPP government will reduce corporate taxes from 25% to 20%, abolish the special import levy, abolish 17.5% VAT on imported medicines, abolish the 17.5% VAT on financial services, and remove the 17.5% VAT on domestic airlines ticket among others.
‘About Ken Ofori-Atta’
Mr. Ofori-Atta, co-founder of Databank was born in 1959 at Kyebi in the Eastern Region.
Ken had his education at Achimota School, and proceeded to have a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Columbia University (1984) and an MBA from the Yale University School of Management in 1988. Ken founded Databank with Daniel Ofori-Atta, Keli Gadzekpo and Torgbui Afede in 1990.
Ken serves as a director for numerous companies and member and some boards too. He is a Director for Enterprise Group Ltd and Trust Bank Ltd of The Gambia of which he is Chairman.
He is a Director at the International Bank of Liberia and is also a Board Member of the Acumen Fund. Ken is a fellow of the Aspen Institute, and was adjudged as the 2nd most respected C.E.O in Ghana.
Ken is a Donaldson Fellow at Yale University and a recipient of the John Jay Award from Columbia University. Ken is married to Dr. Angela Ofori-Atta, a Clinical Psychologist at the University of Ghana Medical School.