The Executive Director of the Media Foundation for West Africa Sulemana Braimah has expressed strong reservation with the introduction of Covid relief tax in the 2021 budget.
The MFWA boss is questioning the decision by government at a time when other countries are rather introducing covid tax reliefs to give businesses some respite.
“While other countries are giving Covid Tax Reliefs , Ghana is imposing a Covid Relief tax, ” He wrote on facebook.
Government last week introduced a number of new taxes such as the , sanitation and pollution levy, gaming tax and a COVID-19 health levy to help shore up revenue in the 2021 budget to help shore up revenue.
Meanwhile Dr Adu Owusu Sarkodie, a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of Ghana says the new taxes should have been introduced next year to give Ghanaians some respite, considering the impact of COVID-19 on the economy.
“The existing ones should have been tackled, then you add on with the new taxes. That is my first point. And my second point is that with the new taxes I was rather expecting them next year, because this year the coronavirus comes with so many uncertainties,” he said.
“Right now, we are only hopeful that gross domestic product will pick up from 0.9 to 5%. We are only hopeful. We know why it dropped from 6% to 0.9, because of the virus. If we have not been able to defeat the virus completely, the uncertainties surrounding the virus and its effect on the economy will still be hanging.”
The new taxes have since been greeted with mixed reactions, some arguing that it will bring untold hardship to ordinary Ghanaians.
Commenting further on the matter, Dr Sarkodie argued that the government must expedite the passage of the Tax Exemption Bill to help address the concerns of Ghanaians.
“The Tax Exemption Bill has been on the floor of Parliament for months. Where was the willingness of the central government and Parliament to pass it?”