Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, a leading member of the New Patriotic Party has rubbished claims that the new taxes introduced by the government are meant to settle the debts created by the reliefs offered to Ghanaians during the peak Covid-19 period.
Gabby Otchere-Darko in a Facebook post explained that government does not intend to make Ghanaians share the cost of expenditures made in 2020 on the pandemic.
He noted the new taxes rather seek to create a platform for Ghanaians to share the cost of ongoing expenditures which include the vaccine.
“Government is not asking you to pay for the cost of Covid-19 last year. No! That cost led to the huge fiscal burden which we do not want repeated this year.”
“The 2021 budget is not asking you to pay for the cost of 2020. You are being asked to help share the burden of the existing Covid-19 costs, including vaccines for over 20 million Ghanaians.”
He added, “Remember there is an equally important cost of reviving the economy through the cost of stimulus packages. Deceit is when a government pretends there is no cost to anything and uses your taxes not for the greater public good. As taxpayers, we must all consider ourselves as partners in bringing our national economy back to life even as Government continues to invest your money to save lives.”
Gabby’s stance on the matter and appeal to Ghanaians differs from the view earlier stated by Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah.
Oppong Nkrumah stated in an interview on Joy News that Ghanaians are being made to contribute to the settling of the cost created by the freebies government offered.
“When we say free electricity, it doesn’t mean that the IPP producer is also going to say because the President has said free electricity I won’t charge for it. But that 19 billion cedis has to be paid for at some point, the liabilities we have incurred has to be paid for,” he indicated Monday night.
“So I am going back to Ofoasi to explain to my people why we need to ensure that we all pay that 1% extra so that we can continue to provide those services for the people of Ghana to protect lives and livelihoods,” he said.