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15.11.2005 Regional News

Workers in Sunyani react to budget

By GNA
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Sunyani, Nov 15, GNA - Workers and traders in Sunyani have hailed the presentation of the national budget for next year as timely, the best ever and that it showed the political maturity of the government. In a survey Ghana News Agency conducted on the budget, some of them called on well-meaning Ghanaians to jettison the negative views of those politicians "whose ultimate agenda is to throw dust into the eyes of the masses to score cheap political points".

They wondered as to how a budget that made provision for grants and tax credits to companies, waive off of taxes on minimum wage and a reduction in corporate tax from 28 per cent to 25 per cent could be described as "azaa and a premature one" by the minority group in Parliament.

"We shall not allow ourselves to be drawn into the camp of the NDC with such meaningless and baseless statements. I see hope in the budget but what is left for the government is to implement whatever is outlined in its fiscal policy.''

''The early presentation will allow companies to prepare sufficiently for their businesses," Mr Isaac Nyame, an accountant, said. He debunked claims by the NDC that the budget presentation was premature and said the government was only acting in accordance with a provision in the 1992 Constitution.

Mr Boachie Yiadom, a photographer, said the budget offered hope to all Ghanaians and a large number of the unemployed as it outlined many policies on how employment could be created by the government.

"My brother's salary will from next year be tax free and that means more money for him. This will improve his standard of living," he said.

Princess, a staff of Sky FM radio in Sunyani, however, said the budget offered no hope for Ghanaians because there was no mention of any increase in the salaries of workers.

She said much depended on the government to implement the good things it had outlined in the statement.

Mr Anane Adjei, NDC's Brong-Ahafo Research and Information Officer, said the budget lacked a paradigm shift needed to propel the nation to a socio-economic breakthrough.

He said the statement presented the old picture where the government relied on financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

"The budget was presented in relationship with what the NDC did in 2000. There is nothing new. Political parties are not in competition for the worse but for the best and the NPP must build on the mistakes of the NDC".

Mr Yaw Osei Aboagye, Manager, National Investment Bank, said the budget "is generally good" and that the reduction in taxes would increase the purchasing power of many Ghanaians.

"Tax credits and grants to firms will lead to more practical job training to the youth as companies will be motivated by the tax reductions to employ more youth, reducing the level of employment.

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