As the majority- minority rift over the passage of the Amended Communications Service Tax bill continues, Member of Parliament for Obuasi, Kwaku Kwarteng has expressed shock over the urgency with which the majority sought to push the bill through parliament.
The proposed amendment will levy another 6 cents per minute on international calls coming into the country and internet usage such as emails. The majority in parliament is of the view that this amendment is urgent while the minority disagrees.
Speaking on Joy News Current Program PM:Express on MultiTV, Mr. Kwarteng
said “We do not see the urgency at all. These are serious interventions that would impact on economic activity… One would have expected that government would take time and let parliament look at this thing, bring the necessary changes so that in the end we will be better off with these measures than otherwise. That is not happening.”
He questioned whether or not it is the proper time to impose such taxes after the recent World Bank Report on Ghana’s economy.
The Obuasi MP, while recognizing the need for national development and increasing state revenue as the reason for taxes of this nature, he wondered why government was not taking a look at the circumstances to decide whether or not a tax would be useful.
Deputy Minister of finance and MP for Cape Coast South, George Kweku Rickett-Hagan, who was also on the show said, Ghanaians must appreciate that every country has to make difficult decisions when deciding what items to tax, stating that when there is a deficit it must be funded without compromising growth.
Hagan discussed the two sides of fiscal discipline being revenue and expenditure, which government is pursuing. “It’s difficult to run a government . . . when you are faced with the realities, you have to govern,” said Hagan. “You have to make things happen.”
Defending the government’s taxation actions, Hagan explained the necessity in funding a budget without taxing one item too heavily; recognizing the detrimental effects this can have on a society.
Source: Joy News Tv