Parliament Endorses Tax Bills To Rake GHC4bn Revenue


Members of Parliament (MPs) mostly from the majority side have approved the government’s four key domestic revenue mobilisation bills in separate marathon parliamentary votes that traveled between two days.

The Excise Tax Stamp (Amendment) Bill, Excise Duty (Amendment), Income Tax (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, and Growth & Sustainability Levy Bill were backed by 137 members against 136 votes after Parliament sat through the night.

Members of the Majority Caucus, including Nanton lawmaker Mohammed Hardi Tuferi, who was said to have been involved in an accident ahead of the voting, voted for the bills, while all members of the Minority Caucus voted against them.

DGN Online gathered that the MP was brought to Parliament in an ambulance to report to the leadership of the House before he was sent to the hospital.

The bills, together, are expected to rake in GH¢4 billion for the country annually and their passage was necessary for Ghana to achieve the board-level agreement for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

A rebellion was brewing in the House over supporting the bills, which came after the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) leadership told Minority MPs to vote against the tax bills needed for the IMF programme.

The party was demanding that the ruling NPP first allow the Electoral Commission (EC) to include the guarantor system in its proposed Constitutional Instrument before it would support the bills.

For weeks, the opposition MPs and pro-government lawmakers were at odds over the passage of the bills, with the NDC planning to seize control of parliamentary business from the government to achieve its demand.

They served notice to vote against the revenue bills in order to derail the IMF deal, which President Akufo-Addo has promised to do in order to help him turn around the economy.

By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House