Akufo-Addo calls emergency Cabinet meeting ahead of budget review

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President Akufo-Addo has called an emergency Cabinet meeting ahead of the presentation of the 2018 mid-year budget review on Thursday.

Sources say the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and members of the Economic Management Team are expected to brief the President on the introduction of new taxes at the meeting which will be held today [Tuesday].

According to sources, 233times.com understands that the President will ask for the suspension of some of the proposed taxes.

The Akufo-Addo administration’s resolve to move away from taxation to production is expected to be tested during the presentation of the mid-year budget review on Thursday.

Ahead of the reading, there have been suggestions that there may be an increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) and National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL).

This was after a report by a pro-government newspaper, The New Statesman, suggested that VAT and NHIL may be increased from 17.5 percent to 21.5 percent.

But the government has tried to allay such fears.

NPP MP for Ledzokuku, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye, assured that the government would not increase the existing VAT rate.

He said the government is only devising measures to raise revenue in a manner that will not negatively affect businesses and individuals.

A Deputy Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, was also hopeful that Ghanaians would rally behind any plans to raise more revenue to fund its projects.

“Moving forward, if it becomes necessary, and it is becoming necessary that we raise more revenue to ensure that we complete what remains of the agenda, I think it is an argument that the people of Ghana, as adduced from evidence, will rally behind when it is eventually rolled out.”

Dangerous times ahead

However, the Minority in Parliament only sees tough times ahead for Ghanaians.

Its Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, predicted that the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, would on Thursday announce a barrage of new taxes and reintroduce some old taxes scrapped in the 2017 budget, in his mid-year budget review.

ABOUT: Ellsamwise King

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