Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has made the strongest indication yet of his side’s willingness to go to all extents to vote against some revenue measures announced in the 2022 budget.
Speaking to Evans Mensah on PM Express, the Tamale South MP said, his side will demand a vote on the subject.
“We will reject it outright. There’s no way the Minority will stand with government on the introduction of the e-levy. It’s not just opportunistic but an oppressive tax regime but also lazy. It will derail the progress we have made as a country on the digital economy. We are united and collectively, we will subject it to a vote and be counted standing in opposition,” he said on Monday.
This is not the first time top members of the minority have announced this intention. Addressing the media after the presentation of the budget, MP for Ajumako-Enyan Esiam and Ranking Member on the Finance Committee, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson assured Ghanaians that the Minority caucus will reject any tax introduced to worsen the hardships faced by Ghanaians including the electronic levy.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has however said government will find a way to win the cooperation of the Minority on the matter of the Electronic Transaction Levy. In an interview with JoyNews on the sidelines of the ongoing Volta Fair, he said Ghana cannot continue to do things the same way.
The Minority Leader insists there are other means government can raise sustainable revenue without resorting to ”lazy” tax measures. When pushed by the show host on what other means government can raise revenue, Haruna Iddrisu noted that government should cut down on its “profligate” expenditure.
“I just think that it’s a no no for the country at this material time. You tax when you don’t discipline your opulent and profligate expenditure, thy is not encouraging. You cannot be asking Ghanaians to tighten their belts whilst you lose your excessive and unexplained expenditure. Take the rental of presidential jets for instance, and you’d hear arguments that the president must bath in the air and you hear the amount of money that is spent, colossal, on travels,” he added.
Parliament will debate the 2022 budget from Tuesday 23rd November with members of the House contributing their opinions on the subject of the budget.
At the end of the debate, the House is expected to vote on whether to accept the budget statement and economic policy or reject same or parts of it, before the committees start considering the estimates for the various government Ministries, Districts and other agencies.