Mr Peter Bismark, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation, Ghana (ILAPI Ghana), a policy think-tank has lamented that the Government was becoming more extractive than before.
According to him, all the tax cuts in 2017 never helped to broaden the tax base and brought a huge burden on the Government as well as leading to more borrowing and for that matter, Government must cut taxes for production and trade.
He argued that all the Government flagship programs had failed and investments made into those policies without blueprints had gone bad and expressed disappointment in the Government’s proposed agenda of moving from taxation to production which was now moving from taxation to more taxation.
Mr Bismark who was responding to the budget as read by the Finance Minister in an interview with the Ghananest empathised with the private sector participators and said “the budget was to drain pockets of citizens to fund the lifestyle of politicians”.
He pointed out that the high debt of 77.6% to GDP was a worry to the country’s economic growth, adding that the World Bank, IMF and European Unions were asking the Government to increase revenue, hence the introduction of new taxes in the budget.
“Ghana beyond aid is to tax to go beyond aid. To wean ourselves from aid, we must pay more taxes that’s the deal. But we must pay more taxes when our income is high. Here, it’s the opposite. I cry for the private sector in 2022”, he contended.
He said expanding the School Feeding Program from 1.6 million children to 2.1 million children and also increasing the amount spent on each child by 25 per cent was not an achievement but a failure.
Mr Bismark was of the view that the success of a cash transfer program was when no one needed it and increasing the numbers meant that there were more poverty individuals in Ghana which was enveloping more Ghanaians.