A ranking member of the Finance Committee of Parliament Dr. Anthony Osei-Akoto says the country’s bailout programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is to blame for the new taxes introduced recently.
He argued that the current economic conditions may worsen this year due to the austere conditions prescribed in the agreement.
[contextly_sidebar id=”CyjhfdPgk3SZK5qi4wxfQlcYuNBMcoha”]The Old Tafo MP believes parliament could have saved the situation if it had reviewed IMF agreement.
“I’m surprised that people are surprised. This is all predictable because we’ve gone into an IMF programme,” he noted.
Akoto-Osei explained that they [minority] vehemently resisted the government’s refusal to seek parliamentary approval before going into the programme with the IMF since to him they would have pointed out such flaws in the agreement “but Ghanaians did not listen.”
“The people of Ghana should ask them why they didn’t want to bring the IMF programme to Parliament for approval because these things are in there. So we are implementing a programme that Parliament has not approved,” he added.
Government at the beginning of 2016 introduced a number of new taxes.
It also introduced the Energy Sector levies which increased prices of petroleum products by astronomical margins.
Meanwhile President Mahama during a media interaction justified the taxes saying it was in the interest of the country.
“It’s not every decision that will be popular but what was I elected for as president, to take popular decisions? If I took popular decisions for you to be happy with me, this country will be in the ground by now. Do I take pleasure in imposing taxes on people as if you just take a pleasure in doing it, you don’t. But you look at the alternative and the alternative is worse and so you must take decisions that are in the national interest. The benefits might not be seen immediately but in future people will see what benefits they have accrued from the decisions that were made,” he added.
But the Member of Parliament for the Obuasi West constituency, Kwaku Kwarteng said Mahama’s justification of the taxes are “unconvincing.”
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana