Accra, Nov. 10, GNA - The Majority in Parliament on Thursday described the 2006 budget as "a budget of good news" which would generate more employment as well as putting more money in the pockets of the ordinary person.
They said this year's budget projections seek to generate growth, reduce poverty and tax rebate for corporate business leading to more employment.
Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Education and Sports, who described the budget as "a first class budget" said the tax reductions for corporate bodies would enable them to train and employ more people and be able to buy equipment and machinery for higher production. "Every good budget creates the environment for jobs and higher production and I believe the relief for corporate bodies will go a long way in helping new businesses to employ and train unskilled labour and also boost their businesses."
Mr Osafo-Maafo said so far the Ministry of Education and Sports have been able to build 5,000 new schools as projected in the 2004 budget and this year hoped to meet the projections.
He said the Ministry has the resources to meet the demands of new school buildings in the regions and that the budget has made provision for the education sector as well as utilising the GETFund.
On the establishment of the Open University, Mr Osafo-Maafo said the Ministry intends to build two of such universities at James Town or Teshie to provide education for those who did not gain admission into universities due to inadequate facilities.
"We are making strides in every sector of the economy and we have been able to reduce corporate tax from 32.5 per cent to 28 per cent and expect to further reduce it to 25 per cent in 2006."
Mr. Allan Kyeremanten, Minister of Trade and Industry said the business community would benefit from the budget because of the tax rebate especially the textile industries, which is facing some problems. He said the Ministry is currently conferring with the textile industries on how to invest in new machinery and technology to sustain the industry for higher productivity.
"This year's budget will generate industrial growth and reduce poverty as well as create more employment." Mr J.H. Mensah, Senior Minister said government is on course and making steady progress and that this year's budget would help the private sector grow.
He said the public sector, which is the catalyst for the growth of the private sector is also making progress though not at a fast rate and that the government would make good use of public monies to ensure that there is commensurate progress.