2022 Budget: You’ll Go Into ‘Guinness Book of Records’ For Borrowing More Than Any Minister – Haruna Iddrisu ‘Punches’ Ofori-Atta

Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has registered his displeasure with the 2022 Budget statement presented by the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta at Parliament on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

The budget nicknamed ‘AGYENKWA Budget’ seeks to relieve Ghanaians from the economic burdens and improve their living conditions.

During his presentation to parliament, Ken Ofori-Atta enumerated policies and strategies to achieve the government’s goal of alleviating the sufferings of the populace.

“Mr Speaker, we are under no illusions as to the economic challenges facing our country today. How to ease the sufferings of Ghanaians, transform the economy to create jobs and share the expected wealth across all households, such as providing security and education, keeps the president awake at night.

“How to broaden the revenue base, keep a grip on expenditure, protect the public purse and at the same time build with urgency the needed infrastructure, collecting revenue, managing our debt and expenditure commitments, and paying the bills to stimulate economic activity are the orders he has given to us, his Ministers and other appointees, to carry out over the next three years,” he said.

He also declared that, as part of efforts to mitigate the hardships, the government is widening the tax net.

“After considerable deliberations, Government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the “Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy”.

“Electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances will be charged at an applicable rate of 1.75%, which shall be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient. Mr. Speaker, to safeguard efforts being made to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable, all transactions that add up to GH¢100 or less per day (which is approximately GH¢3000 per month) will be exempt from this levy,” Ken Ofori-Atta further read while also touching on other sectors of the economy.

The Minister encouraged Ghanaians to embrace the budget saying, “we wish to reiterate that we are in challenging times, which require radical measures, so let us embrace these new policies to enable Government to address the fundamental issues affecting the economy, to ensure that, our Nation continues to maintain its position.” 

Responding to the budget statement, the Minority Leader says the Finance Minister will be recorded in the Guinness Book of Records for what he believes is Mr. Ofori-Atta’s abysmal performance.

He ridiculed the Minister stating, “it’s only Ken Ofori-Atta who ironically eases burdens to quote his words that there is no emotion about the suffering of Ghanaians, yet he is imposing further suffering, imposing a 1.75 MOMO electronic banking tax. So, it’s only Ken Ofori-Atta who eases suffering with the imposition of new taxes targeted at GHC 15 billion within this period”.

” . . Mr. Speaker, with this promise of unsustainable debt, increase suffering and hardships . . . we are not in a haste to debate him. And when you project the value from 53 billion to 80 billion within one year, the market have listened to you, Ghanaians have listened to you; this budget does not end any suffering. You will be credited in the Guinness Book of Records for borrowing more than any other Minister under the Fourth Republic,” he asserted

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