Tensions surrounding the post budget discussion continues to intensify as Ghanaians share mixed reactions over the policy measures presented by Ken Ofori-Atta few days ago. Undoubtedly, Parliament promises to be interesting during the deliberations and approval as some minority MPs have already vowed to vote against the approval of the Agyenkwa budget.
Two notable policies that have sparked longstanding controversy between Ghanaians is the abolition of road tolls and the introduction of an electronic transactions levy to tax mobile money transactions, bank transfers and inward remittances. The new tax has been strongly criticised by Minority and opposition National Democratic Congress.
Fresh information emerging from Parliament has it that the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon Alban Sumana Bagbin has directed the Minister of Roads to withdraw his decision to cease the collection of roads tolls. Already, some political analysts and party communicators have called for the suspension of the Minister for breaching Parliamentary procedures.
On today’s edition of the Asempa FM’s Ekosiisen show hosted by Osei Bonsu, the host of Adom TV’s Badwam show, Omanhene Kwabena Asante shared his reactions concerning the budget. The popular and analytical journalist seemed to be more concerned about the implementation of the novel policies in the budget than the content and its effects.
According to him, the government risk attracting the wrath of Ghanaians should it fail to properly implement all the policies outlined. He indicated that, though the scrapping of the road tolls is a good policy but a notice should have been served to the hawkers along the booth prior to the cancellation. To this effect, he registered his disappointment in the manner in which the Minister for Roads issued a directive to cease the collection of the tolls.
Speaking further, he chastised the government for introducing a high tax on electronic transactions. He stated boldly that the 1.75% tax on the e-transactions are high and should be considered or reduced to ease the burden on the people. Omanhene Kwabena Asante further asserted that, the NPP government would make it easier for the NDC in 2024 should they fail to listen to the cries of Ghanaians.
He said, “I have taken good note of the budget and I would point few things out. The road tolls probably came at the right thing even though I have a problem with how the sellers were left disappointed without a notice. I advise the government to consider the tax on the electronic transactions because it appears too high. At least, a 1% would be okay. The budget can make things easier for JM and NDC if not implemented properly. And there is no doubt about this.”