"Brace Yourselves Up For More Hardship; 2021 Budget Has No Hope" – Haruna Iddrisu
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu has asked Ghanaians to brace themselves up for hike in prices of goods and services.
Mr. Iddrisu says the introduction of new taxes by government in the 2021 budget statement is clear indications that prices of commodities will go up.
According to him, the 2021 budget presents no hope for the Ghanaian worker.
Mr. Iddrisu in a Citi News interview also chided the Akufo-Addo government for seeking to increase the ESLA levy.
According to him, while in opposition, the NPP described the ESLA levy as a nuisance tax but are now enjoying it as a credible source of revenue.
“There is no hope. Ghanaians must brace themselves up for increased hardship and increased suffering because it means that there will be petrol hikes with ESLA that they [NPP] described a few years ago as a nuisance tax. But they are back to it as a credible source of revenue which is a lack of principle.”
In a related development, Mr. Iddrisu said the non-determination of the minimum wage for the 2021 fiscal year will be a source of worry for public sector workers.
“The workers of Ghana will be disappointed because minimum wage has not been determined, public sector wage has not been determined and it is the first time this has happened since 2014. So it means that compensation is likely to erode any gains that we are likely to make but at least now debt to GDP is 276%.”
About the new taxes Government is seeking to introduce four new levies and increase other existing ones this year.
Some of the levies in question are COVID-19 health levy, Petroleum levy, Sanitation and Pollution levy as well as financial sector clean up levy.
These according to the caretaker Finance Minister, Mr. Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu are to cater for the difficulties faced by the economy due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the financial sector clean-up.