After Ghanaians were presented with the 2011 budget statement November 18, 2010, ghanabusinesnews.com interviewed a section of the Ghanaian public especially traders about their opinion on the budget for the 2011 fiscal year.
According to some traders who spoke to ghanabusinessnews.com during a visit to the Kaneshie Market, they said government should use the revenue from taxes to develop the country in order to provide social amenities such as roads, water, electricity and others.
According to one Alhaji Yahya Tetteh, a first trustee of the GPRTU Kaneshie-Kasoa road said if government should increase taxes in 2011, then they should use the revenue from those taxes to maintain and improve the roads in the country.
Alhaji Yahya, who is also a driver on the Kaneshie-Kasoa road, said government should use some of the revenue to fix all the street lights on the road because it is difficult to drive in the night on this road since according to him, in almost every week three persons have accidents on the road.
He said “if I am paying taxes then there should be free education and health for my children” challenging government to tell Ghanaians how the revenue from taxes is used, since every major construction of roads in this country are mostly funded by loan from international donors.
A dealer in elecgtronics items, Mr. Samuel Affum, said the expansion of the tax network comes as a surprise to him since the Mills’ government promised to reduce tax payment during the electioneering campaign and questioned the integrity of the government since they spoke about issues of tax for Ghanaians to vote for this government.
Mr. Affum, who is a sports fanatic also raised concerns about why the budget did not touch much on sports since the government promised to build at least a stadium in every district. He however commended government for solving the problem of students studying under trees by building schools in those places as well as plans to build houses for people to live in, in response to the country’s housing problems.
Mr. James Akumenu, an Accra-Takoradi bound driver, praised the government for some increments in taxes since revenue from the taxes will be used to develop the roads in the country especially in food growing areas. He also commended government for the increment in cocoa prices.
In a sharp contrast however, some people that ghanabusinessnews.com interviewed were not aware that the budget statement has been read.
Mr. Frederick Owusu who sells electrical appliances, said he did not bother himself to listen to the budget when it was being read because it is not important to him. “I would rather concentrate on my business because that’s how I could make ends meet,” he said.
According to Moses Dadzie, who sells confectioneries, even though it is important to listen to the budget presentation, the radio in his car was faulty, and he was busy with his work, and therefore could not listen to the presentation of the budget.
Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, the Minister of Finance presented the budget for 2011 fiscal year on Thursday November 18, 2010 on the floor of parliament.
He highlighted some of the major achievements chalked by the government from 2009 to date.
He said gross international reserves of US$ 3,973.0 million at the end of October 2010 have exceeded three months of import cover compared with reserves of US$2,036.2 million at end of December 2008 which could barely cover two2 months of import.
He added that the Ghana cedi has strengthened and appreciated by 0.1 percent, 2.2 % and 5.4 % against the US dollar, pound sterling and euro respectively as at the end of September, 2010.
By Ekow Quandzie