National attention will focus on Parliament House today as the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, presents the mid-year budget review to the people’s representatives.
The build-up to the presentation has been one of the mixed expectations.
Across segments of society and especially in the media, there have been heated debates, as reports have suggested that there will be tax increases.
Economists, political commentators, and politicians have speculated that the Value Added Tax (VAT) rate will go up from 17.5 to 21.5 per cent, the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) will see a rise from 2.5 to 3.5 per cent, while other forms of taxes are expected to see a jump to meet rising government expenditure.
The Finance Minister has not spoken to the issue, except to say that today’s mid-year review will be good.
Nonetheless, the debate has continued unabated, with the Minority accusing the government of making promises of tax reduction to win political power, only for it to turn round to make attempts to increase taxes.
Government communicators have, however, debunked this claim, saying that, indeed, some nuisance taxes have been abolished and that any effort to raise more revenue is only an attempt to meet government’s agenda of transformation and ensuring that the country achieves its goal of Ghana Beyond Aid.
Some economic and political analysts have posited that if the country can check waste and corruption, the country can save a lot of resources that could be channeled into social projects.
There are reports that revenue from the ports has decreased by 23 percent as of June 2018, while the Auditor-General is on record to have stated that 50 percent of the revenue generated in the country goes to pay salaries.