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Gov’t urged to provide tax relief to cushion Ghanaians due to harsh economic conditions | GBC Ghana Online – The Nation’s Broadcaster

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Vitus Azeem, Chairman of the Tax Justice Coalition Ghana

The Chairman of the Tax Justice Coalition Ghana, Vitus Azeem has lauded portions of the 2023 Budget Statement and says the Government must adopt more progressive tax regimes to provide Ghanaians with some relief.

Speaking at an engagement with civil society and stakeholders in Accra, on the 2023 annual budget analysis, he urged government to seek a comprehensive external debt restructuring with its creditors to help bring the country back on the path of debt sustainability.

This he says is the only way the country’s debt and macroeconomic crisis could be addressed.

The analysis on the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government is a partnership between the Tax Justice Coalition Ghana and Actionaid, as part of an advocacy programme between the two organizations for a progressive tax regime for the country.

At a media engagement in Accra, the Chairman of Tax Justice Coalition-Ghana, Mr. Vitus Azeem, said the external debt restructuring is necessary to bring stability to the Ghanaian economy.

Mr. Azeem said through the proposals to freeze new tax waivers for foreign companies and to review tax exemption for free zones, mining and oil and gas companies, some of the proposed revenue measures in the budget pointed to the conclusion that Ghana’s tax system remained more regressive than progressive.

He said the tax measures, such as the increase in VAT, E-Levy and Communication Service Tax, would increase transport fares, food prices and worsen the country’s inflation. The coalition commended government for continuing with its social interventions such as doubling the LEAP amount and increasing the number of beneficiaries as well as continuing the free SHS.

It said however it would be imperative to put in place adequate measures towards addressing the weaknesses in their implementations. It suggested a review of the free SHS to ensure some targeting of the most vulnerable groups for the intervention rather than trying unsuccessfully to cover the entire country.

Such measures, it says, must include avoiding politicization, intensifying monitoring and supervision and the prompt release of funds for implementation. The Country Director of ActionAid, Mr. John Nkaw, said in the external debt restructuring, Ghana could negotiate for total debt forgiveness, cancellation or relief.

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