Prepare for ‘good news’ in budget review – John Kumah

The Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), John Kumah has urged Ghanaians to brace themselves for some good news during the presentation of the 2018 budget review slated for Thursday, July 19, 2018.

“Let’s wait for Thursday; I know that we will all hear good news. It’s going to be good news,” he said on Citi TV’s morning show, Breakfast Daily on Monday.

Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta is expected in Parliament on Thursday to present government’s budget review and supplementary budget if any.

Ahead of the review, there have been heated discussions in the country following a hint by a member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko of a possible increase in taxes and National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL).

The New Statesman newspaper in a report last week suggested that government may announce an increase in taxes from 17.5 percent to 21.5 percent.

But former President John Mahama in a tweet expressing disgust over the alleged tax hike said: “The Ghanaian business sector has never experienced such difficult times in the history of the 4th Republic. Akufo-Addo’s proposed new taxes would cripple businesses further and also defeat his much-touted mantra of from taxation to production.”

Others have also waded into the issue.

But John Kumah on Breakfast Daily said Ghanaians should keep their fingers crossed for what he termed “good news.”

“Thursday is not very far so let us all wait for the day. The mid-year budget reviews have become part of our annual rituals where in the middle of the year, our finance ministers go to Parliament to tell us about the state of the economy and also sometimes ask the authority to spend more.”

“So we cannot spend to meet social and economic and infrastructure demand when we don‘t have the money. So obviously people think in order to raise additional funding for government sources, now that we are looking at Ghana beyond aid, people are predicting that there may be some introduction of taxes. But we don’t know whether it is going to be through taxation or other means. So let’s wait for Thursday,” he advised.

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