Akufo-Addo should not sign 3 new taxes into law – Kwame Pianim

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An economist, Kwame Pianim, has called on President Akufo-Addo not to assent to the three revenue measures bill into law.

He explained in an interview in JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday that, this is because the bill was not well-thought-out by Parliament.

“President Akufo-Addo should refuse to sign these bills,” he urged.

According to him, Akufo-Addo ought to send the bill back to Parliament for reconsideration.

He accused the lawmakers of failing to ask the relevant questions while the bill was laid before the House.

But pass all borrowing bills before the House that have led to the country’s economic disaster.

“After the Ministry of Finance has done its work, obviously, they have to have an economic model which says after the domestic debt exchange what is the economy looking like? What is it going to be?

“Are we going to have depression and low economic growth for the next three or five years and if so what is going to happen to government’s revenue? Nobody seems to be looking at that and then it goes to Parliament.

“We expect parliamentarians to consult their people, think about it and ask questions. They obviously don’t they just pass them so our last hope is for the President to say thank you Parliament I will not sign this bill because it is not good,” the NPP stalwart said.

As a result, he criticised the 8th Parliament over the passing of three new taxes – the Income Tax Amendment Bill, The Excise Duty Amendment Bill and the Growth and Sustainability Amendment Bill.

Mr Pianim said the current Parliament “is going to go down in history as one of the worst Parliament we’ve [Ghana] has ever had.”

On April 1, Parliament passed three revenue measures in the government’s attempt to generate approximately ₵4 billion in internal revenue.

The measures, according to government, will enable it complete processes to secure a $3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

However, the business, traders associations and some Ghanaians have been agitated about the passing of these new measures saying it will lead to the collapse and relocation of businesses in the country.

Meanwhile, the President of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) contributing to the discussion on the same analysis programme expressed his disappointment at Parliament for approving government’s new tax bills without consulting stakeholders.

Dr Joseph Obeng disclosed that despite making several pleas and petitions to the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin and Parliament itself to reconsider the decision to approve the tax bills, they were not heeded.

Dr Obeng said the action of Parliament was needless as there are many options to consider other than approving the taxes.

“The situation that we find ourselves in is quite dicey, otherwise, there are so many things under our sleeves that we could have done because we have given the authority to government. The actions of parliament were uncalled for.

“Parliament did not listen to the people of Ghana. We have petitioned through the Speaker and the Parliament and then all the press releases and the petitions and the pleas – they did not consider. They never listened to us,” he said.

Source: myjoyonline.com

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