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House passes National Budget, rejects President’s proposal

Dyrus Zinnah/Benjamin S. Taingay
Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives
Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives

MONROVIA, LIBERIA-At long last, the House of Representatives has passed the 2016/2017 Draft Fiscal Budget with an additional forty six million United States Dollar revenue collection identified.

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf submitted the Draft Budget of a little over five hundred million United States Dollars (US$500,000,000.00) to the National Legislature for passage.

According to our Reporter, the House, however, passed the draft National Financial Plan at above six hundred million United States Dollars (US$600,000,000.00).

Our Reporter quotes Members of the House Committee on Budget as saying: “The increment was identified from tax adjustment in both core and contingent revenues.”

Health, education security and Infrastructure development are top priorities of the 2016/2017 National Budget, the Budget’s Chairperson, Prince Moyee, said.

The Draft Budget has, meanwhile, been forwarded to the Senate for Concurrence and subsequently sent to the President to be signed into law.

Prior to its passage, the 2016/2017 Budget discussion had suffered setback, due to division among members of the House of Representatives over controversies that led to Speaker Alex Tyler’s recusal as Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives.

At the same time, the House of Representatives has rejected a proposal submitted to it by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf requesting tax increment on alcoholic beverages.

Members of the House of Representatives also rejected a proposal for the payment of United States one cent per minuet on all free calls in Liberia.

The Plenary of the House of Representatives, however, accepted the President Johnson-Sirleaf’s proposal for tax increment on tobacco aimed at generating an amount of 1.1 million United States Dollar revenue.

The House’s action followed the President’s vetoing of the Liberia Tax Amendment Act of 2016, amending the Revenue Code of 2011 and forwarding the outlined proposals to that body.

The Liberian Leader said: “Reasons for the veto is that the bill will not have the real desired fiscal impact considering the current impact of the global economic downturn on the Liberian economy.

 

 


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