NPP’s 2017 budget is “deceptive and populist”

A former Deputy Minister of Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, has described the 2017 budget statement and economic policy presented before parliament as deceptive and populist.

According to him, the budget does not fit into the country’s medium-term objectives and will lead the country into difficult times.

“This budget is very deceptive, it is populist, it does not preserve the medium term objectives of this country. I’ll say that Ghanaians should brace for a difficult medium-term ahead of us. The minister said he was going to abolish the special petroleum tax; but he was quick to say that he was going to abolish the 1% of the component of the special petroleum tax, so he is not going to abolish the special petroleum tax per say. It is in two categories, 1% and 2%.”

Cassiel Ato Forson, who is also the Member of Parliament for Ajumako Enyan-Essiam constituency in the Central Region, said the government’s decision to scrap taxes on imported vehicle spare parts would result in dumping of old vehicles in the country.

He lamented that, it would have a negative ripple effect on various sectors of the country’s economy including health.

“Go to Abossey Okai today, we did a research on them some time ago, and in excess of 80% of what they sell are over-age vehicles. What you are doing is that, you are encouraging over-aged vehicles, the emission rate is going to go up, and the health hazards are there. Ghana is continuously going to be a dumping ground, so I think it is not well-thought through.”

He further cast doubt on the government’s announced plans of raising revenue, which he said were “overly ambitious.”

“I’ll tell Ghanaians not to be happy yet, because what I can see is a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

He predicted that, the government will not meet its revenue targets for the fiscal year.

Meanwhile, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Effiduase Asokore, Nana Ayew Afriyie, has discredited Mr. Ato Forson’s claims, saying the government will introduce measures to ensure proper regulation of the various sectors that will enjoy tax reliefs to ensure that they are not abused.

By: Jonas Nyabor/

Published on 2 March 2017 | 6:48 pm at Source