Dr Sebastian Sandaare, a member of the Health Committee of Parliament has blasted the Akufo Addo government for increasing taxes without any form of policies to increase healthcare services.
According to the Member of Parliament for Daffiama/Busie/Issa, the government mid-year budget review failed woefully to address some yawning challenges on the health sector yet taxes have petroleum and communication services that the poor relied upon have been increased astronomically.
Dr Sandaare was reacting to the mid-year budget review and Supplementary Estimate of the government of the 2019 fiscal year.
The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta on Monday, July 29, announced increments of taxes on petroleum, energy and communication services taxes.
The communication Services Tax(CST) has been increased from six per cent to nine per cent, while the petroleum and energy levies also increased to 31 and 21 per cents respectively.
According to the Finance Minister, the tax increment became necessary because of challenges facing the energy and petroleum sectors, while the CST increment is to help raise funds to fight cybercrime and related problems.
Surprisingly, the government mid-year review was silent on issues affecting the health sector as many Ghanaians still faced with problems of access to basic healthcare.
Recently, polio-virus was reportedly detected in parts of the Northern region and many children feared hugely affected.
This, Dr Sandaare expressed alarm of government deliberate neglect on the health sector.
He questioned how the people of Ghana would be able to pay their obligatory taxes when they are not having a good health condition.
The DBI lawmaker said rural folks who purchase mobile phones to reach to their relatives for supports would now to pay more when they are not able to access basic needs.
He contended that the increment of taxes on petroleum and energy means the rural folks would pay more on transportation with poor roads and same on electricity and gas.
He added that community health centres that relied solely on electricity to provide healthcare services to the rural farmers might suffer do connection if they are unable to pay bills.
Dr Sandaare said it was the expectation that the government would use the mid-year review to offer a solution to some of the critical health issues like lack of doctors and nurses and the “No Bed Syndrome ” but that was never captured in the reviewed budget.
On the GHS6.3 billion Supplementary Estimate that the government seeks for approval from parliament, the Minority MP said is all for consumption.
” This 6.3 billion cedi is all about shop, shop, we approved over 78 billion cedis, yet we have not seen anything. So the question is where is the money gone to, what are they being using the money for, ” Dr Sandaare stated.
He described the mid-year budget review and supplementary estimate as another door to pass through to take from Ghanaians without any project to show.
He said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government is the incompetent government ever.
He added that the only way Ghanaians could gain the benefit of their tax is to kick out the NPP in 2020 for NDC to implement projects beneficial to the nation.
Sources: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Nyaaba