CSOs Budget Forum blows whistle on Tax Exemptions and Low Revenue Ahead of 2022 Budget
CSOs Budget Forum,which comprises of 11 CSOs has proposed four economic areas of needs to the Minister For Finance to be factored in the 2022 budget presentation slated for the 15th November 2021
The sectors which they mentioned are as follows,Education,Energy,Fiscal Policy and Health.
This to them is to enhance the country’s revenue generation capacity,strengthen health as well as promote infrastructure development in the education sector.
Dr.Alex Ampaabeng a lead member in his presentation at the Forum kicked against tax exemptions explaining that the country makes huge losses as a result of tax exemptions enjoyed by multi nationals.
To him tax exemptions which contribute to the country’s ability to generate revenue is that reason the country continue to borrow.
Tax exemptions are becoming issues when we go out to negotiate we should be preaching human capital and not tac exemptions.
He therefore called for the inclusion of tax exemptions in the 2022 budget reporting to enable Ghanaians to know how much the country has lost to tax exemptions.
He called for the introduction of what he described as Exit Tax to avert the rampant incident of multi- nationals existing the country a year ahead of their agreed years of operations in the country.
He also expressed worry over the concentration of tax system in the country is not fair to the poor.
Dr.Alex Ampaabeng proposed that government should instead raise the tax of high earner’s as opposed to the poor who are already suffering.
On Education,the Executive Director of the Africa Education Watch Mr.Kofi Asare expressed worry over the failure of government to invest in infrastructure at the basic level.
He said one of the biggest funds in the economy is GETFund but the capping of GETFund at 25% is affecting educational development.
According to him 1.4 billion cedis out of over 5 billion cedis of GETFund was released adding that out of that only 60% of the 1.4 billion went into debt servicing at the Education sector.
Mr Kofi Asare further explained that even though free SHS is well funded the program is likely to suffer a setback until the basic level gets similar fundings and stands on its feet adding that both compliment each other.
To him government should prioritizes the infrastructure of the basic education in order to move educational sector higher.
The Policy Lead, Climate Change and Energy Transition at ACEP Mr.Charles Gyamfi Ofori called for the passage of the mineral regulation Act and stressed the need for the private sector to be supported by government whilst it also addresses the power challenges of the country which he argued affects the country’s economy.
On health, the Forum commanded government on the management of the Covid-19 and urged government to ensure that more people are vaccinated.
The Forum brought together the Media and the CSOs Budget Forum participating Organisations,namely Africa Centre for Energy Policy(ACEP), Africa Education Watch, Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights,Action for Citizen-Led Transformation Africa(ACT- Africa), Economic Governance Platform, Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition(GACC), International Budget Partnership(IBP), IWatch Africa, Natural Resources Governance Institute(NRGI), Oxfam in Ghana and Revenue Mobilization Africa(RMA).