2021 Budget: It’s Difficult To Support New Taxes; Ghanaians Need Bailout Programs - Ablakwa

Former Deputy Education Minister in the erstwhile President John Mahama administration, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa says the 2021 budget presented in Parliament last Friday will add up to the ongoing excruciating pain and difficulties Ghanaians are already going through.

His broad assessment of the 2021 budget taking into account the economic recession the country finds itself due to the COVID-19, the budget should have cushioned Ghanaians, especially workers who have lost their jobs as well as those who are facing pay-cut as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was expecting to see a more humanitarian budget that will respond to the hardship in the country as fuel prices have increased six times since the year began (17%). If you look at the cost of iron rod, cement and the general cost of living in the country, I was expecting that the budget will be a stabilization budget that will cushion Ghanaians and bring more relief to the people but unfortunately, the budget has rather introduced additional taxes,” he indicated.

Speaking on Okay FM’s 'Ade Akye Abia' Morning Show, the North Tongu Member of Parliament(MP) reiterated that his overall assessment of the 2021 budget is that it will further inflict more hardship on Ghanaians, making it difficult to back the government for introducing new taxes.

“It will be very difficult honestly to support those new taxes the government has introduced, because if you look at other international countries, what their governments are doing in this COVID-19 era is that they are cushioning their people”.

“Joe Biden for instance has announced a major bailout programme where they are giving out money to the various household. Boris Johnson has done the same thing in the United Kingdom and even in Africa, the South African budget and other countries, you will see that they are cushioning or offering relief but our own is imposing taxes,” he opined.

He, however, prayed that the government will have a rethink about the additional taxes as no other country in this COVID-19 era is introducing additional taxes but rather introducing relief programmes to support their citizenries.

"I am yet to see any other country in this era introducing additional taxes; I have not seen this in any other country so far in the international assessment I have done. This is worrying and I hope the government will rethink about the additional taxes it is introducing in the country,” he suggested.