By Ragan M. Conteh
The Member of Parliament from Mile 91, in Tonkolili District, Hon. Aaron Koroma, has informed Members of Parliament that if they passed the 2021 Finance Act, it will increase the number of unmarried women in the country.
According to Hon. Koroma, the 2021 Finance Act is exploitative and it puts more burdens on the citizens, adding that government used to charge Marriage Licenses for Le200, 000, but, in the new 2021 Finance Act, the government has proposed Marriage License fees to Le1,500,000, which represents 400% increase.
“This is unfair to our people. Some men who want to marry will not afford to pay Le1,500,000 just for license fee for a certificate. This is mere exploitation. It will put women out of marriages, looking at the current economic situation,” Hon. Aaron said.
Hon. Koroma revealed that, the Finance Act has also denied the basic fundamental human right of the people, because the Medical Charts or Documents, in the hospital, have also been increased astronomically, from Le300,000 to Le700,000, thereby making life difficult for the people who will be seeking medical attentions.
He also exposed the increase in birth certificate in the Finance Act, from Le5,000 to Le100,000, a price that is very alarming and it is exploitative.
Hon. Aaron Koroma went further that the Finance Act has also limited people, especially the ordinary people, from constructing houses because the increase in the price of nails, from Le15,000 to Le50,000, as tax from business, is a way to exploit and to prevent them from acquiring or owning a house.
He disclosed that the Finance Act has also increased fees for importers of fuel and computers, which will undermine the free quality education as the country is working towards the 21st Century digital revolution.
He however stated that government should not charge computer importers 5%, but it should be zero charges so as to ensure that business people who will be bringing computers will not be exploited.
The Leader of the National Grand Coalition (NGC), Hon. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, in his submission, informed that the 2021 Finance Act is just to make lives tough for the masses, disclosing that the astronomical increase in taxes, in the 2021 Finance Act, is unfair, citing that it is Tax and Spent Act.
He furthered that his political party is worried about the increase on taxes on business people, which will have ripple effects on the lives of ordinary people in the country.
According to the Member of Parliament, representing Constituency 077, Hon. Abdul Kargbo, the exorbitant tax increase in the 2021 Finance Act, if approved, will add more economic burden on the lives of ordinary people. “Our people are not responsible for the bloated wage bill, don’t exploit our people,” Hon. said
Other Members of Parliament also reiterated on the increase of taxes on business people in the country, which will add to the already suffering of the masses in the country. He urged Parliament to send the Bill to the Legislative Committee for scrutiny.