The Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament (MPs) have cautioned that they will resist any attempt by the government to impose tax on house-keeping money, known in the local language as ‘chop money’, especially, when if it is introduced in the 2018 budget.
The government intends to introduce taxes on mobile money transactions by all the network operators in the country in the 2018 budget and economic policy with sole objective of mobilizing enough resources internally for developmental projects.
But in the view of the minority, such a measure will hugely affect low income earners, especially, those who receive their housekeeping money via mobile money transactions.
Addressing stakeholders at a round table breakfast meeting in Accra on the 2018 Budget and Economic policy of the government, the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee and former deputy Minister of Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, said “It is also regressive because, compared to the relatively affluent non-core financial services that the NPP removed for the relatively rich, this insensitive [mobile money umbrella tax] will seriously affect millions of Ghanaians who use their telephones to transfer small amounts to relatives.”
The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta will be presenting the 2018 budget statement and economic policy of government onbehalf of President Akufo-Addo, on November 15,2017 which is expected to focus on Industrialization; Agriculture and consolidation gains made after almost a year in office.
There are strong indications that government may push ahead with some fiscal reforms that could lead to further cuts in tax rates as well as social intervention programs such as Free Senior High School, nurse training allowance would be maintained.
However, the Minority maintains that it is an indirect way of taxing transactions such as transfers of school fees and medical bills.
Mr Forson also added that the NPP must provide some relief to low-income families from “chop money” transfer tax, as it is nothing more than a backdoor move to reintroduce the taxes they removed last year.
On the country’s debt, Ato Forson indicated that the national debt has ballonned alarmingly within 11months that the Akufo- Addo government has been in charge.
At the last reckoning, the public debt had increased from GH₵122.6billion in January,2017 to GH₵138.6billion as of June and is set to increase due to recent developments to 150billion by end of December 2017.