2021 budget offers no hope; Brace yourselves up for more hardship— Haruna Iddrisu to Ghanaians
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has
asked Ghanaians to brace themselves up for more hardship as the 2021 budget offers no hope especially to the ordinary citizens.
He said there will be hike in prices of goods and services, stressing that the introduction of new taxes by government is clear indications that prices of commodities will go up, thus described the budget as “no hope budget.”
Mr Iddrisu explained that the 2021 budget offered no hope for the Ghanaian worker and decried that the ordinary citizens would suffer yet the more.
Speaking in an interview with the media, Mr Iddrisu chided the Akufo-Addo government for seeking to increase the ESLA levy.
According to him, while in opposition, the NPP described the ESLA levy as a nuisance tax but are now enjoying it as a credible source of revenue.
“There is no hope. Ghanaians must brace themselves up for increased hardship and increased suffering because it means that there will be petrol hikes with ESLA that they [NPP] described a few years ago as a nuisance tax. But they are back to it as a credible source of revenue which is a lack of principle,” he said.
In a related development, Mr Iddrisu indicated that the non-determination of the minimum wage for the 2021 fiscal year would be a source of worry for public sector workers.
“The workers of Ghana will be disappointed because minimum wage has not been determined, public sector wage has not been determined and it is the first time this has happened since 2014. So it means that compensation is likely to erode any gains that we are likely to make but at least now debt to GDP is 276per cent,” he added.
The new taxes
Government is seeking to introduce four new levies and increase other existing ones this year.
Some of the levies in question are COVID-19 health levy, Petroleum levy, Sanitation and Pollution levy as well as financial sector clean up levy.
These according to the caretaker Finance Minister, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu are to cater for the difficulties faced by the economy due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the financial sector clean-up.