MPs begin debate on 2023 budget today

Story: Kwadwo Owusu Aduomi

Members of Parliament  (MPs) will today, November 29, 2022, begin debate on the 2023 budget statement presented by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta last week.

Portions of the budget have been met with opposition as industry players lament the impact it will have on their businesses and livelihood.

The government intends for the 2023 budget to focus on strategies to restore and stabilise the macroeconomy, build resilience, and promote inclusive growth and value creation.

The budget statement featured updates on Ghana’s engagement with the International Monetary Fund for a $3 billion programme, the macro-fiscal performance of the economy; the YouStart initiative under the Ghana CARES Programme; climate action strategies; fiscal measures and debt management strategies to ensure fiscal and debt sustainability and promote growth.

Among the new policies proposed in the budget, which are likely to be implemented under an IMF programme, will be a freeze on public sector employment and new tax measures as the government moves to cut down expenditure and boost revenue.

The freeze on employment has already courted criticism from the Minority in Parliament and the Trade Union Congress.

Among the notable proposals, the Electronic Transfer Levy headline rate is to be reduced to 1 percent, Value Added Tax will be increased from 12.5 percent to 15 percent, the benchmark discount policy is to be fully phased out in 2023 and an additional income tax bracket of 35 percent is to be introduced.

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