Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta is set to present to parliament new tax policy measures by July this year.
“We intend to present to parliament a package of tax policy measures at the time of the mid-year budget review to ensure sustained funding for our key programmes,” he said.
The move is to help deal with the country’s rising expenditure. Mr Ofori-Atta made the disclosure at the on-going conference on moving Ghana beyond Aid.
The Conference was organised by the Africa Centre for Economic Transformation in collaboration with Ministry of Finance and the International Monetary Fund.
It is being attended by countries which have signed on to the G20-Compact With Africa (CWA) including Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia.
Revenue Mobilization Challenges
The country over the years has struggled to raise the required revenue to march its expenditure. Last year, revenue mobilized was just a billion short of its target of GH¢33 billion for 2017.
There are fears that looking at the current challenges facing the economy, the government may struggle to secure the almost GH¢40 billion tax revenue for this year.
Justification for the review
Speaking at the conference, Mr Ofori Atta said he is hopeful this challenge would be addressed when he presents the Mid-Year review in July.
This policy document would give fine details on how to deal with the revenue challenges facing the economy.
“As you recall, in the 2017 budget we were clear in a preferential option for the poor as under grading the pace of development and also vibrant private sector free from the cohesive state.
Education now is funded more robustly, NHIS is stronger, Teachers and Nurses allowances have been reinstated,” he said.
Mr Ofori-Atta added, “It is essential that we mobilize more revenue in other to ensure that our priority programmes are well funded.”
It is however not clear for now, whether the expected review by the finance minister could result in tax increases or just implementing additional measures to ensure compliance among working class in the country.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.