A ranking member on the mines and energy committee of Parliament, Hon John Jinapor in his submission with respect to the 2024 budget statement which was read by the finance minister, Hon Kenneth Ofori-Atta on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, 15 November,2023 claimed it the budget statement was below the belt.
Hon John Jinapor cited that, the tax reliefs introduced by government wasn’t going to have any vital changes to the economy.
“They are talking of so-called electric vehicles for public sector transport. People are suffering today, inflation is at 38%, the currency has depreciated by more than 20%, you are increasing people’s wages by just 23%, so already you are worse off.
” Instead of coming up with policies that will address the situation now, you come up with this so-called highfalutin reliefs and claim that these are reliefs, to who?” Hon Jinapor asked.
This comes after the finance minister in delivering the budget statement iterated government’s intentions to prioritise certain relief such as zero rates of VAT on locally manufactured African prints, sanitary pads and locally manufactured vehicles, including waivers on imports duties electric vehicles and agricultural machinery.
On the subject of protecting the environment, Mr Kenneth Ofori-Atta mentioned government’s plan to enlarge the Environmental Excise Duty, Plastic packaging, industrial emissions and vehicle emissions.
“Mr. speaker, the stamp Duty Act, 2005 (Act 689) has not been reviewed it’s enactment in 2005. To realign the rate with current economic realities, Government, in 2024, will review the rates and fees for Stamp duties. The bands subject to ad valorem taxes will be expanded be reviewed upwards,” He stated.
Hon John Jinapor speaking in the same vein stated that, the tax waiver of import duties on electric vehicles ” is nothing but a so-called vehicle luxury tax disguised and reintroduce,” he added.
According to John Jinapor, both the finance minister and the government are utilizing the measures which aligns with the IMF conditionality ” which states that eventually, we should have an 18% tax revenue at the percentage of GDP,” Hon Jinapor said.