The Minority in Parliament has prayed for the doom of the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy which has received the approval of the august House.
The budget was presented in Parliament on November 24 by Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta.
The government in the budget announced a 2.5% increase in Value Added Tax (VAT); a reduction of the E-levy rate to 1% with the removal of the GHC100 threshold; a domestic debt restructuring programme to bring the country’s debt to sustainable levels, etc.
The government also announced cuts and freezes to reduce expenditure.
Parliament began debates on the budget on November 29.
On Tuesday the Minority reiterated their objections to some of the government’s projects and revenue measures in the budget.
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu pinpointed to the VAT, the E-levy review and allocations to some projects including the National Cathedral, Defence Advisory Services and the increase in the staff strength of the Office of Government Machinery, among others.
He also raised concerns about the debt exchange programme of the government on the floor during the final day of the debate.
He noted, “We say no to VAT, no to your debt exchange regime.”
In his conclusion, he wished for the doom of the budget.
“Mr Speaker we pray that this budget fails so that they blame us and blame Ghanaians. Take your failing budget. You have failed Ghanaians.”
On his part, Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu said the budget housed the solutions to the country’s problems including road deficits.
“About 25% of questions that are asked in this Chamber relate to Roads. Some roads have begun and the intention is to ensure that they don’t deteriorate, they’re not left unattended to, so the 2.5% increase in VAT we have been told primarily is going to be used for road construction. If you don’t want your roads to be constructed, tell us that you don’t want your roads to be constructed.”
Following a voice vote on the motion, the budget was approved.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini