Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta’s decision to take a u-turn on the personal income tax has rather earned him the fury of some Minority members in parliament.
Mr. Ofori-Atta announced during the reading of the 2018 Mid-year Budget review, the introduction of an additional personal income tax where persons who earn GHC 10,000 and above will have to pay taxes of 35% as part of measures to raise more revenue to meet its revenue target for the 2018 fiscal year.
After much protests for a revision of the decision, government, in its 2019 budget decided that persons who earn income above GH¢20,000 will now be subject to a tax rate of 30 per cent.
“We have listened to the feedback from the public and come to the conclusion that some relief from this tax measure is justified”, Mr. Ofori-Atta said in Parliament.
Speaking to Member of Parliament for Ketu South, Fifi Kwetey after the Budget presentation Thursday, he described the situation as tragic. He saw nothing laudable about the new move, rather, it was completely ‘stupid’ that the Finance Minister refused caution initially and still went ahead to implement the policy.
“It’s a tragedy for this country that you have a Finance Minister who actually has been warned by people in government and therefore knows better and refused to listen, stubbornly refused to listen, it’s like you are going the wrong direction and we tell you where you are going is wrong, until you go and your car crashes then you come and turn around and you want us to applaud you? Applaud you for that stupidity and stubbornness, no, that’s nothing to be applauded for”, he said.
He believes a ‘listening’ government should not wait to change decisions only after enough harm has been done.
“If you are a listening government, listen well and listen fast, don’t wait till your car crashes before you listen, that’s not listening, that’s wrong listening”, he continued.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, Thursday November 15 read the 2019 Budget statement on the floor of parliament.
He among other things touched on the total revenue and grants expected for the 2019 fiscal year. Agriculture; Industry; Infrastructure; Entrepreneurial Support; Revenue Mobilisation protection of the Public Purse and Social Partnership all featured in the 2019 Budget.
In the Agricultural sector, it would expand the Planting for Food and Jobs to programme to cover a million farmers and increase storehouse capacity by 80,000 metric tonnes, among others.
Under infrastructure, several projects are expected to be undertaken including roads, housing, health and water projects, with a $2 billion facility as well as other sources of funding.
More than one billion cedis will be invested in industry while under the National Entrepreneurship an Innovation Support Programme, another set of 10,000 entrepreneurs would be trained and financial support provided to about 2000 of entrepreneurs.