Parliament has approved the 2023 budget and economic policies of the government.

This approval is however for the policies and principles underpinning the budget presented by finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta last 2 weeks.

The approval paves the way for estimates for ministries, departments, and agencies, (MDAs) to be referred to the various committees for scrutiny.

Concluding the debate on the 2023 budget, minority leader Haruna Iddrisu once again asked the government to drop its decision to increase VAT rate by 2.5 percent and scrap E-levy threshold warning such a move will not get the support of the NDC MPs.

“Mr. Speaker without going further we in the NDC minority group will fiercely resist and fight the imposition of this additional tax on Ghanaians and Ghanaian businesses because Mr. Speaker it will only exacerbate and increase the hardship they’re already going through, it will increase the cost of doing business for many Ghanaians and it will make it difficult for ordinary Ghanaians to cope,” the minority leader said.

Majority leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu reiterated the 2.5% increase in VAT will go into the construction of roads asking the NDC minority caucus to be clear in their stance whether their opposition to the VAT increase means a rejection of road construction plans by the government.

“About 25% of questions that are asked in this Chamber relate to Roads. Some roads have begun and the intention is to ensure that they don’t deteriorate, they’re not left unattended to, so the 2.5% increase in VAT we have been told primarily is going to be used for road construction. If you don’t want your roads to be constructed tell us that you don’t want your roads to be constructed,” he said.

On his part, the majority leader argued in spite of current economic turbulence, the NPP are far better managers of the economy.

“Inspite of the unprecedented shocks both internal and external, head-to-head the NPP has proven to be better managers of this economy; the evidence is clear,” he argued.

Speaker then put the question for the adoption of the motion which generated a little controversy after the speaker failed to accurately detect the direction of the voice votes.

Alban Bagbin however settled on the YES after putting the question the second time to murmurings from the Minority side.

“The House has accordingly approved the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government for the year ending 31st December 2023,” Speaker said.

Source: Ghana/ Fm