President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has rallied Ghanaians to support the revenue mobilization measures proposed in the 2023 budget to help manage the economic difficulties in the country.
He said those measures, though very difficult, are necessary to address the “hydra-headed challenges confronting us.”
The revenue measures include a proposed increase in VAT rate by 2.5 per cent, the review of the e-Levy rate from 1.5 percent to one percent and removal of the daily GH¢100 threshold.
It also proposes the removal of selected VAT exemptions, the implementation of the VAT e-invoicing system, revision of selected excise taxes, complete removal of discount on benchmark values, the implementation of the unified property rate collection, and review of the National Fiscal Stabilisation Levy (NFSL) to include all entities which are critical in supporting the fiscal consolidation process.
Speaking at the 38th Farmer’s Day Celebration at Koforidua in the Eastern Region on Friday, President Akufo-Addo pointed out that the country was in considerable economic difficulty.
He said it was imperative that relevant measures were taken to get the economy back on track to bring relieve to Ghanaians.
The President said those measures that would address fiscal and debt sustainability concerns, would enable the nation to achieve the goal of restoring macroeconomic stability and promoting inclusive growth, whilst protecting the poor.
He indicated that the fiscal adjustment envisaged in the 2023 budget was not only on the revenue side, but also on the expenditure side.
Government is also proposing significant expenditure rationalization measures, including a lowering of the cap on transfers to earmarked funds from 25 per cent to 17.5 percent.
It is also looking at the reviewing flagship programmes to reflect relevance, promote efficiency, and ensure value for money.
The Budget proposed the continuation of the 30 percent cut in the salaries of the President, Vice President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, MMDCEs, and political office holders including those in state-owned enterprises.
It also intends to manage public sector wage negotiations and hiring within budgetary constraints and integrate the public procurement approval processes within budget allocation.
Other key measures to reduce public spending include the reduction of fuel allocation, the size of convoys, the suspension of the creation of new government agencies, and a ban on the use of Sports Utility Vehicles.
President Akufo-Addo was confident that the measures would alleviate the impact of the recession on the economy and create additional fiscal space.
“Fellow Ghanaians, I am optimistic that all these fiscal measures, together with the debt operations and the implementation of key structural reforms to eliminate the structural bottlenecks in the economy outlined in the 2023 Budget, will go a long way to address the economic challenges.
“I call on all Ghanaians, in these difficult times, to support these fiscal measures that the Government has proposed for approval by Parliament, to enable us achieve the goal of restoring macroeconomic stability and promoting inclusive growth, whilst protecting the poor,” he pleaded.
The President also made a special to Organised Labour to continue its dialogue with Social Partners to find an acceptable, realistic and fair solution to the ongoing salary negotiations.
“It should be obvious to all of us by now that we can only rely on ourselves to build the Ghana we want,” he said, adding, “It is absolutely essential for our future, if we are to realise our goal of a Ghana Beyond Aid, to strengthen our self-reliance and our capacity to finance our own development.”
The Day was held on the theme: “Accelerating Agricultural Development Through Value Addition.”