The Minority says govt could have scrapped some taxes on petroleum products
Ghanaians have been debating after listening to the budget
MPs are currently debating the budget
The Member of Parliament (MP) for the Bongo Constituency, Honourable Edward Bawa, has stated that many Ghanaians across the country had a rise in their blood pressure (BP) after hearing the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, present the 2022 budget statement on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.
According to him, most Ghanaians had their hopes dashed as the finance minister did not touch on the recent spike in the prices of petroleum products.
“If you observed before the budget was read on November 17th in this house. If you monitored every conversation in the public space… whether it was beer bars, whether it was trotros, whether it was in the radio stations, one factor dominated all the conversations. It had to do with fuel prices and it is because fuel prices have a cascading effect on all other items… food items, building materials, education, health among others.
“But unfortunately, what we had was that the minister took time to molest us for 4 hours with torture…with promises of increasing taxes and there were lots of people who had BP just because they knew that their expenditure pattern was going to increase as a result of this tax. But [the finance minister] was convenient enough to avoid the topical issue Ghanaians were interested in seeing them talk about,” he said.
Enumerating a number of contributing factors to the increase in the prices of petroleum products, the MP mentioned that Ghanaians expected that the government scrap some taxes on the product to reduce its cost.
“Government may not have control over prices of crude oil on the market. Government has no control over the distributor’s margin because that’s in the private sector. But the government has control over taxes and levies and the government has control over statutory margins.
And so the expectation was that government would have looked at these factors in these times[Covid-19]…when Ghanaians were suffering to find a way of intervening in the lives of these people but the government decided to do otherwise,” he said.