NDC Was Shy Of Being Dubbed Socialist
Head of Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at the Presidency has revealed that for some inexplicable reason the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) party was very shy of proclaiming its socialist orientation, as if it was a leprosy that had to be avoided, but the Budget and Economic Policy Statement for the Fiscal Year 2011 has clearly put paid to all that as it shows that the NDC truly values socialism. Dr. Tony Aidoo believes the 2011 Budget presented in Parliament on Thursday, November, 18, by the Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffour, leans more towards a socialism direction and is the clearest indicator yet of the differences in ideological beliefs between the NDC and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). “I’ve seen a budget that I can say has a tendency towards socialism…at least it provides a clear criteria between the NDC gov’t of the Atta Mills and the NPP. And for just this simple purpose, I’m glad. That at least, for the first time, we can have a reference book that says this is the nature of the NDC and that is the nature of the NPP. Because for a very long time, the character of the two parties has been conflicted and the NDC has unfortunately been very shy in proclaiming its socialist orientation, as if it’s a leprosy that you must always avoid,” he said. Contributing to a panel discussion on Alhaji and Alhaji, a political discussion programme on Radio Gold, the former University of Cape Coast Lecturer hit hard at critics of the government’s economic direction for the year 2011 who argue that it contains far too many tax components which could cripple businesses. Dr. Tony Aidoo was emphatic that no new tax proposal was contained in the Budget. “Let’s go through the tax proposal, and I want people to tell me which tax proposal is an entirely new measure…for people to be agitating the minds of the public against the Budget. Mining Royalties will be paid monthly instead of quarterly; that’s not a new tax! Deferred payments of tax will be discontinued; that’s not a new tax! What it’s saying is that, when you hold gov’t revenue in your hands for a very long time, there are opportunities for you to fail to pay that revenue; so we want it at a time when we need it!...our practice has allowed importers of finished products to warehouse them for up to two years before paying. It’s unacceptable!” he screamed. According to him, during that two year period these importers are able to sell off their products and amass huge profits and categorically pointed out that “the gov’t is not a banker!” Commenting on the threshold of the Withholding Tax which has seen a significant increase, the former Defence Minister in the NDC 1 Regime under Mr. Rawlings, was of the view that the Mills’ administration must be given a pat on the shoulder for coming up with such an anti-corruption measure. “The threshold of 5% withholding tax will rise from fifty currency points (GH¢50.00) to five hundred currency points (GH¢500.00). To me this is an anti-corruption measure that we must applaud,” he observed.