The Member of Parliament for Cape Coast South, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan says the government must be focused on cutting down on frivolous expenditures rather than the passage of the revenue bills.
The government is seeking approval for some revenue bills which are currently before Parliament to rake in about 4 billion Ghana Cedis annually.
The bills are the Income Tax Amendment Act, the Excise Duty Amendment Act, and the Growth and Sustainability Act.
Ahead of the consideration of the financial bills, the lawmaker spoke to journalists in Parliament.
“There are serious expenditure items that need to be looked at. One of them remains obviously to reduce government ministers and other wasteful expenditures like the National Cathedral and other things they intend to spend money on. I don’t want anybody to be telling us that without those things we cannot survive.
The lawmaker added, “we don’t need that together with an IMF programme. We have got countries that went to IMF without going through debt restructuring and these kinds of tax reviews, before they got the programme. They got the programme and worked through these things to achieve whatever the IMF wanted us to achieve”.
The government fears failing to pass the new tax bills on Friday, March 31, will jeopardize the country’s chances of a quick economic recovery and Board approval for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister, is concerned that if these bills are not passed, plans to raise money to supplement domestic revenue will be thwarted.
“If we don’t do what we have to do for the country, we will have major challenges. So, this is a set of measures we must ensure is worth passing. This is a major bridge we have to cross in closing this revenue gap and ensure that there is more liquidity”, he stressed.
He thus appealed to the Minority in Parliament to support the passage of the revenue bills currently before the house in order to help the government secure the $3 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).