Politics

Minority weakening our democracy with entrenched position on 2022 budget – John Kumah

A Deputy Finance Minister, John Kumah, has urged the Minority in Parliament to back down on its opposition to aspects of the 2022 budget.

Speaking on The Point of View, Mr. Kumah said it was time to focus on nation-building.

“In democracies all over the world, minorities have their say, but governments have their way. I think they have had enough say.”

“Let’s look at how we can allow the government to also go ahead of this budget implementation so that together we can build this country,” he added.”

Mr. Kumah further said the Minority will hurt Ghana’s democracy by sticking to an entrenched position.

“It shouldn’t be a fixed position of either I get this or nothing happens. When we do that, we will be weakening our own democracy and painting a different picture out there about the reasons why we are even in Parliament.”

Mr. Kumah was speaking after the Finance Minister, outlined some revisions at a press conference on Monday, December 6, 2021.

The revisions touched on demands the Minority in Parliament had made.

The Minority wanted the suspension of the Electronic Transaction Levy, the removal of suggestions of the Agyapa deal from the budget, rewording of the paragraph on the Aker Energy deal, and a review of the benchmark import values.

While the government made some changes in line with the demands, the main concerns around the e-levy were not addressed.

The levy will be a 1.75 percent charge on some electronic transactions, including mobile money.

The levy will exempt daily transactions of a cumulative value of GH¢100 or less, per person.

In the budget, the recommended date for the levy to take effect was January 1, 2022.

According to the budget, up to 0.25 percentage points of the 1.5 percent e-transaction levy or 16.7 percent of the yield from the levy, should be used to support road infrastructure development.

Ten percent of the 0.25 percentage points, i.e. 1.67% of the yield from the levy, will be dedicated to improvements in public transportation, including the purchase of buses.

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