Parliament adjourns sine die after passing four major revenue bills

Ghana Parliament

Parliament on Saturday adjourned sine die to enable the law makers proceed on Easter break after passing four major revenue bills.

The four major Bills, which were passed under a certificate of urgency during a marathon all-night session of the House include the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill, 2022 and Income Tax (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2022.

The others are Growth and Sustainability Bill, 2022 and the Ghana Revenue Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The passage of the Bills was done by the House with the support of the 137 ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) Majority Members of Parliament (MPs) with stiff opposition from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) Minority Caucus.

During the consideration of the Bills, two NPP MPs who were ill were carried in ambulances to the parlour of the Chamber of the House for the Leadership to take notice of their presence in order for them to be captured as part of those in attendance of the Business of the House.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister, moved each of the Motions for the House’s approval, with Mr Kwaku Agyeman Kwarteng, the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the House seconding.

The object of the Excise Duty (Amendment) Bill is to amend the Excise Duty Act, 2014 (Act 878) to revise the excise tax rates for cigarettes and other tobacco products to conform with the ECOWAS Protocols and raise revenue to mitigate the harmful effects of these excisable products.

It also seek to impose excise duty on sweetened beverages and electronic cigarettes, and electronic liquids to increase revenue.
The Income Tax (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2022, seeks to amend the Income Tax Act, 2015 (Act 896) to revise the rates of income tax for individuals and introduce an additional income tax bracket.

The objective of the Growth and Sustainability Bill, 2022, is to impose a special levy to be known as the Growth and Sustainability Levy to raise revenue for the growth and fiscal sustainability of the economy.

Whereas the Ghana Revenue Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2022, seeks to provide for more coverage in the administration of the Ghana Revenue Authority.

The four major revenue Bills are critical towards Ghana securing the approval of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Board for the country’s $3 billion bailout deal.

Dr Cassiel Ato Baah Forson, the NDC Minority Leader and Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of the House, in opposing the Bills, indicated that Ghanaians were already suffering on the back of huge taxes.

He noted that it was only right that the Government avoided introducing additional taxes to alleviate the suffering of Ghanaians.

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