The former President said this when he addressed separate meetings with delegates of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at Ejisu and Subin as part of his campaign tour of the Ashanti Region.
“You have to put in measures to enable businesses flourish. If businesses flourish and you come to collect tax from them, they will pay because they have enough money. But now that you have let the businesses down, is this the time to burden them with tax?”
“What they [government] have to do is to put in measures so that economic activities can start again. There is no economic activity in this country, consumption has gone down, nobody is buying anything. So this is not the time to harass people with taxes,” he added.
John Mahama said what the Finance Minister must do “is to stimulate the economy so that money can start circulating in the economy again.”
To him, when money is circulating in the economy government can then “come and collect taxes.”
“You said you were moving from taxation to production, but now it is from taxation to taxation,” former President John Mahama added.
Mahama’s comments come ahead of the 2019 budget presentation in Parliament by the Finance Minister on Thursday.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP), prior to the 2016 elections chastised the then NDC government, accusing them of slapping Ghanaians with “nuisance” taxes.
Although the NPP government reduced some of the nuisance taxes and reviewed others when it came to power, it subsequently introduced new taxes.
2019 budget will present ‘Ghana beyond hell; hopelessness’ – Ato Forson
Minority Spokesperson on Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, earlier predicted doom for Ghanaians in 2019 ahead of the budget presentation.
He said the yet-to-be presented 2019 budget statement and economic policy will be full of hopelessness, and will increase Ghana’s debt by 16 billion cedis.
“We say Ghana beyond hell because in the year 2017, the budget was named ‘asempa’ budget, meaning good news. But at the end, what did we see? We saw ‘asembone’ budget meaning bad news. In the year 2018, the budget was named ‘adwuma’ budget, meaning we were going to expect more employment, but what are we witnessing now?”
“We are witnessing job losses, layoffs and no jobs. President Akufo-Addo announced that the 2019 budget will be full of hope. But judging from the outcome of the 2017 and 2018 budget and economic policy statement, what should we expect in the 2019 budget? Hopelessness,” he added. Read Full Story