Govt swerves minority over VAT increment

Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has promised that the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) government will not increase the Value Added Tax (VAT), contrary to earlier report by the Minority Members of Parliament (MPs).

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs on Monday, 16 July, 2018 at a press conference in Accra claimed that the NPP government was planning to increase the VAT rate from 17.5 per cent to 21.5 per cent

This was after a report by a pro-government newspaper, The New Statesman, suggested that VAT and NHIL might be increased from 17.5 per cent to 21.5 per cent.

Although the government tried to allay the fears that the reports sparked, some Ghanaians, including the minority caucus in Parliament, said the introduction of new taxes could affect businesses and the cost of living.

“We only see tough times ahead for Ghanaians,” the minority said.

The Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, who spoke at the said press conference, predicted that Mr Ofori-Atta, would announce a barrage of new taxes and reintroduce some old taxes scrapped in the 2017 Budget in his mid-year budget review.

Former President John Dramani Mahama earlier also through a tweet took on the ruling government for intending to increase the VAT rate.

But presenting the 2018 Mid-Year Budget Review in Parliament yesterday, the finance minister categorically stated that government would not increase the VAT rate despite some economic challenges.

“I wish to assure the House that VAT will not be increased, Mr Ofori-Atta declared.”

However, Mr Ofori-Atta said the government would maintain the current VAT rate of 17.5 per cent.


Story: Franklin ASARE DONKOH

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