Government urged not to introduce new taxes without cutting down wasteful spending

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Mr Peter Bismark Kwofie, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation, Ghana (ILAPI Ghana), a policy think-tank has underscored the need to cut down what he termed as “wasteful spending” in running the affairs of the country so as not to increase or introduce new taxes.

He contended that it was not about how huge a budget was to ensuring efficiency but doing more with less taxes which will in turn build confidence and trust among Ghanaian citizens.

According to him, the Auditor General’s Report consistently finding maladministrative challenges and mismanagement of public funds without due process is an indication of how taxpayers contributions were annually going waste.

Mr Kwofie who made the remark in an interview with Newsghana noted that the biggest challenge to enhancing service delivery was to marry the formal laws and how strictly these were being applied at a time when public spending was becoming a larger share of funding for services.

“Government is requesting GH137 billion in the 2022 Budget. These monies are to be used to pay salaries for service delivery and building more infrastructures to enhance service delivery. The rest would go into interest payments on loans and for other statutory importance”, he stressed.

He added that in a situation where these monies were paid and there hasn’t been any solid improvement in government’s service delivery architecture, it will be termed as wasteful expenditure.

Touching on tax exemptions, he enumerated that three companies comprising Everpure Holdings, B5 Plus Ltd and Ferro Fabrik, have been cited to enjoy over GHc 120 million tax exemptions under the One-District-One-Factory (1D1F) program and Parliament by resolution approved that in their 19th sitting of the third meeting.

However, he recounted that government in the 2022 Budget was looking to raise revenue and give tax exemptions to the tune of GHc 6 billion for the implementation of 1D1F initiative.

Mr Kwofie querried, “Do you support tax exemptions for such companies that are already making huge gains? The big question is, why are companies lobbying for tax exemptions on imports?”

He hinted that it was interesting to note that more businesses were subscribing onto the tax waive platform so that Parliament could use the Article 174(2) to grant such exemptions when brought to Parliament by the Finance Minister.

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