Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has made clear in a press briefing on Sunday afternoon concerning the COVID- 19 Health Levy introduced by the government in the 2021 Budget Statement. In his statement he said the free amenities (water and electricity) which was enjoyed by Ghanaians in 2020 has nothing to do with the levy introduced.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said the claim that the government has said that people have to pay for the free water and electricity was false, and the levy was not a pay off for the social amenities provided by the government. " You know that government has never said that you have to pay for the free water and electricity, " he said.
He explained in gis words saying, " the COVID levy is not for free water and electricity. For the avoidance of doubt, the Ministry of Finance' s statement deals with it but if you also go into the budget, if you go to page 58- of the full document, it outlines the uses of the COVID levy. "
Mr Oppong Nkrumah talked on the budget outlines and what government has done with the COVID programme, also making available a listed budget.
He latter made the point that, to provide a requisite resource to sustain the implementation of these measures government is considering the introduction of a COVID- 19 Health Levy of 1% point increase in the National Health Insurance Levy and 1% point increase in the VAT Flat Rate for that purpose.
The correct position as highlighted by the Ministry of Finance should be noted, Mr Oppong Nkrumah clearly suggested. The Ministry of Finance issued a statement on Friday, March 19, 2021, which shows the government' s detailed out plans on the use of the Covid- 19 levy.
The need for the explanation and clarification followed recent rumors suggesting that the government will use the Covid- 19 levy to pay off the cost associated with the 2020 free
water and electricity which was provided by the government to Ghanaians. For this reason the government has strongly refuted claims that the newly- approved levy was intended for such expenditure of 2020.
In the statement issued seven key areas depicting what really the levy is intended to be used for. According to the statement, the free amenities for 2020 " ought not to be misconstrued to mean the new taxes of 2021 are a direct charge for those services. "
Issuing out details on the appropriation of the levy, the statement elaborated that funds from the levy will be used in the procurement, distribution and administration of Covid- 19 vaccines, establishment of fourteen medical waste treatment facilities across the nation for safe disposal of medical waste and the completion of thirty three major health projects approved for implementation by the President.
Also in the statement includs a portion of the levy to be used for the construction of 100- bed district hospitals in 101 districts with no hospitals, seven regional hospitals for the new regions under the government' s Agenda 111, recruit more health care professionals to fill the 111 district hospitals and supplement the 100, 000 health workers recruited so far under the current administration.
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