Some Kumasi business owners are dismayed by the Government tax policies captured in the 2023 budget.
They expressed that the new tax rates announced by the Finance Minister will burden consumers and worsen the cost of business. They were disappointed and said the government is out of touch with reality.
According to the traders, the increment in the Valued Added Tax (VAT) by 2.5 per cent will negatively impact their business, and the government does not care about their plights. They have called on Parliament not to approve the budget.
Ken Ofori-Atta presenting the 2023 budget statement, disclosed that the government wishes to increase VAT by 2.5% in 2023 forms part of the seven-point agenda to revive the Ghana economy.
The VAT rate is to increase from 12.5% to 15% and is expected to yield GHC2.70 billion will be used to fund road construction projects and the digitization agenda.
“Mr Speaker, the demand for roads has become the cry of many communities in the country. Unfortunately, with the current economic difficulties and the absence of a dedicated source of funding for road construction, it is difficult to meet these demands. In that regard, we are proposing the implementation of new revenue measures. The major one is an increase in the VAT rate by 2.5 percentage points.”
However, traders in the Kumasi Central Business District that recently closed their shops to protest unfavourable tax policies and the high cost of doing business said the government is only burdening them with more taxes.
The Executive Secretary of the Ashanti Business Owners Association, Charles Kusi Appiah-Kubi, said the government should have introduced measures to ease the financial burden of traders instead of announcing more taxes.
“We are very disappointed, and it gives us the impression that the government has lost touch with the realities on the ground. Our disposable income has been affected and our working capital has been affected. In a situation where businesses are collapsing, the government should have been conscious of introducing measures that would save businesses. It is our prayer that parliament won’t approve the budget,” Mr Appiah Kubi said.
Ken Ofori-Atta announced the increment of the Value Added Tax (VAT) while presenting the 2023 budget statement on Thursday, November 24, 2022.
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