Razak Kojo Opoku, a staunch member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), said the year 2020 had chilling effects on the global economy after the novel COVID-19.
He said no country could escape the effects, adding that “clearly now almost every country is experiencing a slow economic recovery.”
Mr Razak Opoku said the COVID-19 outbreak has forced tax authorities to spend huge sums to protect their citizens and defend their economies from the colossal toll of disease and Ghana was no exception.
“A more frightening sight captured by the African Union’s recent report on the impact of COVID-19 on the continent’s economy, which simply reports that the continent could lose up to $ 500 billion.”
In an interview with the Ghanaian news agency in Accra on Tuesday, Razak Opoku said the report further underscored that countries, under these circumstances, would be forced to borrow heavily to survive the pandemic.
He said big economies such as the United States and the United Kingdom were borrowing even amid the pandemic in order to overcome significant financial difficulties. Mr Razak Opoku said it was blatantly clear that in the face of the battle against COVID-19, governments around the world were on the verge of further indebtedness, even surpassing World War II.
He said that on a global scale, countries have recently borrowed at a breakneck pace and that COVID-19 has added nearly $ 20 trillion to global debt.
Mr Razak Opoku asked if Ghana should also join the wave of borrowing, right? The same goes for the government language of Akufo-Addo-Bawumia and Ghanaians must nationally support the building of the country’s economy.
“Locally, we can develop more pragmatic means to ensure the strength of our economy. The introduction of some taxes included in this year’s budget is to collectively build the country’s economy with the strength of ordinary citizens and protect their livelihoods ”.
He said the 2021 budget which was read on March 12 by Ghana’s acting finance minister Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu explained some benefits of taxes.
Mr Razak Opoku said the COVID-19 health tax provides the necessary resources to support the implementation of measures implemented by the government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic while the sanitation tax and pollution provided the government with the resources to implement measures that reduce the number of deaths and illnesses due to poor sanitation.
He said the financial sector clean-up tax had also been introduced to help cover ongoing liabilities in the sector and would be reviewed in 2024, while the tax administration was to help tackle the illegal acts of some actors. industry involved in underreporting and evasion. taxes.
“Gaming policy aims to eliminate revenue leakage in the sector and prevent capital flight, road tolls must allow the government to make improvements on roads and vehicle income tax for vans (trotros) and taxis are part of the measures to reduce the cost of transport.
Mr. Razak Opoku said the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government is focusing on more national measures to address the country’s particular challenges related to COVID-19 and as part of the plantation for food and jobs, farmers’ access to production inputs increased to 1.4 million and over 1.7 million. farmers benefited from subsidized fertilizers.
He said that with the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government’s industrialization drive, of the 232 factories targeted, 107 factories were under construction, 76 operational, 36 started construction and 13 have not yet started and that these factories would primarily process the country’s raw materials produced under the plantation for food uses.
“This is a targeted government whose production theory proposed by Dr Bawumia in opposition still stands and is being implemented to boost Ghana’s economy.” Mr Razak Opoku said the GHC 750 million Coronavirus Mitigation Program – Business Support Program (CAP-BuSS) was another laudable government initiative to ensure the survival of businesses during this extraordinary time, adding that “The Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government is not taking away from Ghanaians but helping them transform their livelihoods.”
“The plight of the ordinary Ghanaian is a major concern for the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government. This is why the Utilities and Regulatory Commission did not increase utility tariffs, hence the opposition propaganda that the government is taxing Ghanaians because of the free provision of water and water. electricity during the last COVID-19 period? “