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Any form of new tax will kill private businesses – ISSER to gov’t

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Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Professor Peter Quartey, has advised government against the potential introduction of new taxes in the upcoming Mid-Year Budget Review.

He emphasized that such measures could severely hamper private sector growth in Ghana, which is already struggling under the current economic conditions.

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The Finance Minister is set to present the Mid-Year Budget later this month, and Prof. Quartey has voiced strong opposition to the introduction of new taxes.

He argued that private enterprises are currently grappling with significant challenges due to the ongoing economic difficulties in the country, compounded by stringent policies from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program, including debt restructuring initiatives.

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“We do not want to see new taxes. It is certainly going to kill the private sector. Looking at government’s own programmes and policies, bringing new taxes will kill the private sector,” Prof. Quartey warned during an interview with Joy Business.

He advocated instead for the removal of some existing taxes to alleviate the burden on businesses.

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Prof. Quartey highlighted that the government could improve revenue collection by better coordinating and implementing the existing tax framework.

“Government must heed to the call not to introduce higher taxes but design measures to make the existing levies work,” he suggested.

He also referenced the innovative policy ideas proposed by Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, urging that these be incorporated into the Mid-Year Budget Review to provide much-needed relief to businesses.

“We have seen some statements from the Vice President and the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). I believe they can work in the budget,” Prof. Quartey noted.

He further argued that these forward-thinking policies should not be reserved merely for campaign promises to be implemented post-2024 elections but should be integrated into the current economic strategy to foster growth and stability.

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