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The 2021 Budget statement read on Friday 12th March 2021 was presented by the interim Finance Minister Honourable Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu in the absence of the Finance minister-designate due to a medical reason. The budget which was read with about 3 solid hours was full of controversy as the Speaker sounded warning of his disapproval if the Executive slash the budget allocated to the other two arms of government.
Not only did the budget come under threat of being rejected but Ghanaians also vented their spleen towards the introduction of new taxes in the government's bid to mobilize revenue lost in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government suggested in the 2021 budget the introduction of a Covid-19 Health Levy of a one per cent increase in the National Health Insurance Levy and a one per cent increase in the VAT Flat Rate to support expenditures related to Covid-19.
Other levies like borla tax, sports betting tax and others were also stated in the budget read by Honourable Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu. The Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin during Parliament's deliberation on the budget threatened not to send the budget to the President for him to give his assent if the reduction on the revenue allocation to the legislature and the judiciary is not reviewed.
The Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah Bonsu in an interview when asked if the Speaker had the power to reject the 2021 Budget statement said the Speaker has no authority to disapprove the budget and therefore engagement should be made with the leadership of the House to solve any pending issue.
Ghana's Parliament today on 19th March 2021 has approved Akufo-Addo's budget statement for the 2021 fiscal year where 137 Members of Parliament were in support of the budget with 134 MPs also not in support after the head count.
Dear cherished reader, do you think the approval of the 2021 budget was the best thing to do and will it go a long way to help the country this year?
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