Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, has indicated the Minority Caucus in Parliament did not reach a consensus on the 2022 budget which was approved by the Majority after they rejected it is because the Majority together with the Finance Minister refused to review the proposed 1.75% e-levy.
He explained that his side and the Majority held a joint caucus meeting to make some useful concessions towards the approval of the 2022 Budget.
During the deliberations, the Minority strongly insisted that the 1.75% e-levy should be reviewed to a more convenient rate in order to make life more comfortable for Ghanaians.
This, the Majority disagreed. They [Majority] failed to welcome this proposition, leading to a stalemate between the two caucuses.
Haruna Iddrisu told the media that, “Indeed, the vexed issues, for which there was a stalemate, for which we could not discuss further, was the matter of E-levy. Our original position was that, no, no, no, no, to e-levy.
“They explained to us the difficulties and circumstances of the economy and the fact that they needed some additional revenue for purposes of consolidation, fiscal consolidation. We referred to them, that the brilliant economists at ISSER, had suggested to them that review it downwards; therefore, we said if you could go to 0.5 to 1%, we could accommodate you, for the good of the Ghanaian people.
“They said it was their budget and they were not prepared to review the e-levy. So, the Ghanaian people, we then decided that they must stand alone in it. Because we believe sincerely, that it’s punitive as Professor Quartey said, and it doesn’t serve a good tax instrument because it’s regressive.”
The Tamale South MP continued: “we also asked them to adjust even the threshold of this GH₵100 maybe upwards; they also said they were not ready to do that. So, if you didn’t see the Minority cooperating, these were the very reasons we were unable to support them.
“So, we’re determined to support them to redeem the economy. Because we want to inherit a healthy economy under President Mahama, in the very foreseeable future of 2025. But the difficulty was on those matters.”
Due to the inability of the two caucuses to reach a consensus, the Minority walked out of the chamber when the Majority decided to overturn the earlier decision taken by the House on Friday, November 26.
The Minority subsequently described the approval of the 2022 Budget as unconstitutional, and have indicated their readiness to ensure that the illegality perpetrated by their colleagues, is accordingly rectified.
By: Prince Antwi | Ghana Guardian