Deputy Majority Leader in Parliament Mr. Alexander Afenyo-Markin has justified the introduction of new taxes and levies by government, explaining the increments are needed to help the economy recover from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Government announced it will be introducing new taxes including COVID-19 health levy, petroleum levy, sanitation and pollution levy as well as financial sector clean up levy.
Caretaker Minister for Finance Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu made the announcement when he presented the 2021 budget statement and economic policy of government to Parliament on Friday.
He explained that, “Despite the substantial progress made by the Akufo-Addo Government, there is the need to find additional resources to cover the excess capacity charges that have resulted from the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) signed by the previous Government which required payments for capacity charges even when the plants involved were idle or unutilised.
“Mr. Speaker, it has become very necessary for Government to consider a review of the energy sector levies. The Energy Sector Recovery Levy of 20 pesewas per litre on petrol/diesel under the ESLA is hereby submitted to this House for approval”.
Just after the budget presentation, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu has described the government as insensitive, accusing it of mismanaging the economy and introducing new taxes.
He predicted as usual, extreme hardship for Ghanaians.
However, in response, Mr. Afenyo-Markin who is also the MP for Effutu argued that government needed the new taxes for efficient management of the economy.
“Look at the over GH¢21 billion that government had to give out to those who lost their investments in the banking and financial sector; and the social interventions the government had to give out to Ghanaians due to the COVID-19 pandemic and all these have to be funded.”