Post-budget Debate: NDC was imposing taxes but we will reduce them – Majority

General News of Thursday, 9 March 2017



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The Chairman for the Finance Committee in Parliament, Hon. Mark Assibey-Yeboah (Dr) and MP for New Juabeng South has said, whereas the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was in the business of increasing and imposing taxes, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is in the business of reducing taxes.

The legislator made the comments during a debate in parliament over the 2017 budget statement presented by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta a fortnight ago. ”The economy is projected to grow at 6.5% in 2017 because the NPP is reducing taxes and abolishing many of them.

And that will be the first time in six years that we are increasing economic growth. Clearly this government means business,” he said.

The shifting of focus from taxation to productivity he stressed was evidently clear in the budget presentation. ‘’Under the NDC taxes were imposed on condoms, ambulances, bicycles, on fertilizers and on even savings and investments. Taxes were imposed on cutlasses.

Under the NDC, capital gain tax was increased, withholding tax was increased, a special import levy was imposed under the NDC. Exercise duty was imposed on petroleum.

There was value added tax on financial services. There was VAT on Real Estate sales. VAT was even imposed on domestic airline tickets. Under the NPP, we seek to abolish all these nuisance and killing job taxes.’’

The NDC he added was also in the business of abolishing the teacher and nursing trainee allowances. ‘’They [NDC] were also in the abolishing business. They abolished teacher trainee allowances.

They abolished nursing trainee allowances. They cut research allowances for lecturers. Whereas they abolished teacher trainee allowances, we are restoring teacher trainee allowances. Whereas they abolished nursing trainee allowances, we are restoring same,’’ he said.

The Minority on their part reiterated that the budget presented was a ‘’419’’ budget and deceptive. Member of Parliament (MP) for Ketu South Fifi Kwetey questioned how the current government will bring about the industrialization which is one of the major ways of curbing unemployment yet, there is a move to remove duties on importation.

He said it is very difficult to understand why government will remove the Special Import Levy.

He said ‘’it is difficult to appreciate where the Minister of Finance is coming from in terms of removing these duties and at the same time, expecting to unleash,’’ the means to raise revenue for the various projects.

Hon. Fifi Kwetey admonished government to review some of their policies including the free senior high school.

He said, although you in a hurry to work let us not do anything to destroy our economy.