Famed broadcaster, Kwaku Owusu Adjei has asked some pertinent questions following the presentation of the 2020 budget statement on Friday, March 12.
In an unusual editorial on his Adwenekasa program Monday morning, Pato as he’s called by his cherished listeners questioned the direct significance of the budget presented on behalf of the President by caretaker Minister of Finance, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Suame Constituency and the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs and the Leader of Government Business.
Expressing concerns over the 48-page document, the Original 91.9FM presenter said it is about time we focused on human-related issues as a country rather than always over-emphasizing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which doesn’t really contribute to the economic growth of the country.
“The budget presented a couple of days ago, we incessantly mentioned Gross Domestic Product (GDP) till the close of day. Scores of people have begun asking, GDP When you return home and your child asks what you brought home. Then, you answer GDP, he or she will tell you to cook it as a meal. The child will query they say GPD, so, how far? It has made us realize how human beings are developing in the nation it’s also really important.” Pato said on his Adwenekasa show on Monday, March 15, 2021.
To him, people are beginning to think they are being overburdened with taxes, wondering about the population who willingly pay their taxes.
“As we are discussing and the taxes we should pay taxes, people think we’re being overburdened with taxes. How many people are able to pay tax?” he quizzed.
He added,” the other day, the President [Akufo-Addo] during the State of the Nation Address hinted on how the Ghana Card would be used to identify eligible taxpayers. Often, the conversation we have is, let widened the tax net because those who pay taxes continue to pay – people in the formal sector. Informal sector workers earn huge sums of money how many of them pay taxes. Some lecture people on how to evade taxes, they say there’s a way to evade tax which is not illegal.”
According to Pato, while the government continues to campaign a course to widen the tax net some individuals also encourage tax evasion and further teach people especially foreign investors how to evade taxes and they end up milking the country dry.
Making reference to an assertion hold by an economist and professor of Finance at the University of Ghana Business School, Professor Godfred Bopkin that enough of GDP talk, it’s time to consider Human Development Index (HDI), he wondered how single-digit inflation translates to transform our livelihoods when it does not come along with job creation and business opportunities.
He could not fathom the government’s interest in GPD instead of paying critical attention to the Human Development Index which directly affects the country’s economy.
By: Bernard Ralph Adams | Originalfmonline.com | Ghana