General News of Thursday, 2 March 2017
The Minority in Parliament have asked government to provide definite answers on when the tax reliefs announced in the 2017 budget statement would take effect.
The Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta presenting the budget in Parliament on Thursday announced the introduction of a number of tax reliefs including the scrapping of market tolls paid by head porters.
However, seconding the motion for the adjournment of Parliament after the presentation of the budget on Thursday, the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu said even though the Finance Minister knew he was in a house of records portrayed that the reliefs announced have been abolished and would take immediate effect when indeed that was not the case.
“I want to assure him that he has not reduced anything yet, it is subject to legislative reforms in this house and we will do what is legally right because this is a country governed by laws,” the Minority Leader said.
He said the Minister of Finance used words like “we have reduced the petroleum taxes, we have reduced the budget deficit, when it would have been “honourable if the Minister had said, in this budget we have pledged to reduce, [not definite]…”
“Mr Speaker, we may take this for granted but that ‘kayayei’ person wanting to enjoy the tax relief and the spare parts dealer at Abossey Okai, may ask for it in the next possible one hour, but Mr Speaker the best assessment of a budget is its out turn, and we will monitor the out turns and the performance of the budget,” he said.
Mr Iddrisu reminded the Minister of Finance that, when he was concluding, “even though he began with a motion that this honourable house approve the financial policy of the government of Ghana for the year ending 31st December 2017, he concluded with I beg to move the ‘Asempa Budget’, not the ‘Ma trick wo Budget.’