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Akufo-Addo has taken GH¢27.1bn from Ghanaian pockets – Ato Forson claims

Source The Ghana Report/Edwin Appiah

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has disputed government claims it has put GH¢12bn in Ghanaian pockets.

The former Deputy Finance Minister Cassiel Ato Forson said, to the contrary, the Akufo-Addo administration has taken GH¢27.1bn from Ghanaians.

He spoke at an NDC event in Accra organised as a response to the 2020 budget presented by the Finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta last Wednesday.

Despite chalking eye-pleasing macroeconomic feats, government faces concerns, improved indicators are not reflecting in the lives of Ghanaians.

Addressing this concern, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said government has brought tangible reliefs to Ghanaians through its flagship programmes.

Ken Ofori-Atta said Free SHS programme has saved parents GH¢1.8 billion in the last three years and listed other benefits from different programmes.

Casseil Ato Forson has called government’s claim as “the great hoax” and proceeded to list initiatives which he claims has taken so much more money from Ghanaians.

He claimed price increases on petroleum products has taken GH¢13.7bn from the pocket of Ghanaians between January 2017 to August 2019.

The former government appointee claimed his figures were conservative because it does not include increases in prices of LPG, Kerosene, marine gas oil and pre-mix fuel.

Ato Forson said tax increases under the Akufo-Addo administration has also taken out GH¢27.2bn from Ghanaians.

The breakdown included GH¢60.6m raised through the imposition of luxury tax on vehicles before it was abolished.

He said the government also bagged GH¢117.1m from the collection of the 9% Communication Service Tax.

The increase in the Energy Sector Levy has also brought in GH¢436m, he continued and included GH¢9bn from increases in utility tariffs.

“I was very charitable with the numbers” he said, referring to his calculation on utility tariffs.

Ato Forson also claimed increases in transport fares has taken approximately GH¢1bn.

“You see, our Finance Minister owes us some money” he said.

Gov’t provides breakdown of initiatives and programmes it says has put monies in Ghanaian pockets.

  • Planting for Food and Jobs has saved farmers a total of GH¢844 million over the last three years for subsidized fertilizer;
  • A total of GH¢357 million have been put into the pockets of Teacher trainees within the last three years in the form of allowances;
  • A total of GH¢336 million have been put into the pockets of Nursing trainee within the last three years in the form of allowance;
  • Subsidy for the BECE registration fee has saved parents a total of GH¢65 million over the last two years;
  • The electricity tariff reductions effected by the PURC effective March 15, 2018 resulted in savings of GH¢1.8 billion for a year for residential and non-residential customers;
  • The reduction and abolition of taxes (including the 50% reduction in import duty) has saved taxpayers a total of GH¢4.1 billion over the last three years;
  • The over 350,000 jobs that have been created in the public sector (including the 100,000 NABCO graduates) has provided total earnings to them of GH¢2.9 billion.

 

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