NDC vows to vote against govt’s new tax bills

Story: Peace Awuku

Member of Parliament (MP)  for the Bawku Central constituency, Mahama Ayariga says the Minority will reject  the new revenue bills currently before Parliament.

He said the Minority will vote against the bill when the time comes.

Mr. Ayariga indicated that, unlike the approval   of the ministerial nominees where a secret vote   was used, a headcount will be conducted to determine whether the new tax bills should be accepted or not and that will help in the rejection of the bills.

Speaking  on Citi FM,  which was monitored by Today, Mr. Ayariga disclosed that “it is going to be a voice vote where if you are not satisfied, we call for a division and then there will be a headcount and the matter will be determined, and I am very confident that all our members will be in the House and vote in line with our position to vote against the bill.”

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Mr. Ayariga stressed that the Minority would have been considerate if the government was making efforts at cutting down on its expenditure but so long as it is “only interested in asking Ghanaians to pay more taxes and not cutting down on the consumption of the taxes,” it will not allow such burden on Ghanaians.

Government is under pressure to have three new revenue bills passed by Parliament as it seeks to rake in GH¢4 billion per year to shore up revenue to fix the ailing economy and secure a Board approval for a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The bills which include the Excise Tax Stamp and Excise Duty amendment bills, Income Tax amendment bill and Growth and Sustainability levy bill are already being rejected by some business groups.

Meanwhile the  Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has appealed to the Minority in Parliament to support the passage of the revenue bills currently before the house in order to help the government secure the $3 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Speaking to journalists, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah stated that there must be an agreement on the bills in order to help the economy recover.

“I am not too fixated on arguing with GUTA and AGI. We must find a very decent middle ground that allows us to close this gap for our collective good. To our colleagues in the Minority, I think it is clear that we need to work together to achieve a certain objective for the country. Sometimes we are whipped up but let’s look at the country’s interest at this point in time.”

“The world is ready to help us, China, the Paris Club and external creditors are all with us in a good place now and are looking at us to see if we can help ourselves. My appeal to those in government, Minority, economic groups is that, we must ensure that these revenue bills are passed to close this GH¢4 billion gap”, he said.

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