Parliament on Thursday, December 7, voted on the 2024 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Government.
At the end of the voting by way of a headcount, the budget has been approved.
The results saw 138 Members of Parliament voting in favour of the approval of the budget while 136 Members of Parliament voted against the approval of the budget.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and his deputies were in Parliament today for the voting on the budget he presented on behalf of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last month.
For the Majority, this budget will help the government to continue on the path of economic recovery to make the lives of the citizenry better.
In the last few weeks during the debate on the budget, the Minority led by its leader Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson opposed the approval of the budget describing it as empty and one that will make the lives of Ghanaians more difficult.
The Minority also raised concern about taxes in the budget, stating that Ghanaians will be overburdened.
Key tax measures proposed in the approved 2024 Budget include:
- Target an increase in Ghana's tax-to-GDP (i.e., gross domestic product) ratio from the current 13% to 18-20% to be at comparable levels with peer countries
- Extend the value added tax (VAT) Zero-Rating provision for locally manufactured textiles and locally assembled vehicles until December 2025
- Reduce the VAT rate on commercial properties from the standard rate of 15% to a 5% flat rate to simplify administration and enhance revenue mobilization
- Reduce the rate of VAT and levies on locally manufactured sanitary pads from 15% to 0%
- Restrict deductions under the Income Tax Act, 2015, Act 896 (as amended) to invoices generated through the VAT Certified Invoicing System
- Expand coverage of the VAT electronic invoicing system to cover a wider range of taxpayers
- Grant import duty waivers on electronic vehicles used for public transportation for eight years
- Provide import duty exemptions to local manufacturers that import raw materials to produce sanitary pads
- Collaborate with the Ghana Medical Association to secure import tax waivers on vehicles imported for use by medical doctors — aiming to alleviate their transportation challenges
- Exempt from import taxes agricultural machinery, equipment, and inputs, along with medical consumables and raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry
- Expand the coverage of environmental excise duties to include plastic packaging and industrial and vehicle emissions to address the negative externalities associated with plastic waste and pollution
- Provide an eight-year import duty exemption for both semi-knocked and completely knocked-down vehicles to persons engaged in assembling electric vehicles
- Review the Stamp Duty Act to increase the rates to align them with current economic conditions
- Adjust the tax-free Personal Income Tax (PIT) band upward to exclude the new National Daily Minimum Wage (NDMW) from taxation
- Introduce a simplified tax return for individuals in the informal sector to encourage voluntary tax compliance as part of a modified taxation scheme