The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has dismissed the reasons given by the government for recent increases in various taxes and tariffs.
According to the NPP, the government’s rationale for the tax hikes does not justify the ‘astronomical’ increases of between 18 to 27% on the prices of petroleum products.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Wednesday, the Communications Director of the NPP, Nana Akomeah, stated that the NDC-led administration’s expenditure on several development projects are not enough of an excuse to impose such taxes on Ghanaians.
He opined that past governments in the country’s history have undertaken similar development projects but none, prior to the current administration, had overwhelmed the citizens with such taxes.
“Every government in the history of this country including the colonial government built roads, built schools, built bridges but they did not kill Ghanaians with taxes. They can’t tell us they want to build roads and then kill us with taxes,” Nana Akomeah stated.
The tax hikes have been criticised widely with several experts and groups including the Trades Union Congress (TUC).
The Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Haruna Iddrisu in defense of the new tax regime revealed that government had accrued a 4.5 billion cedi debt which if not cleared, could lead to an intensification of lthe power crisis.
Nana Akomeah accused the government of trying to offset its failure to pay its own debt by transferring them to Ghanaians in the form of taxes.
“They say there is some legacy debt, they say they owe the VRA and ECG. We pay our electricity bills and energy bills. In 2012, the Government imposed 80 percent increment in electricity. Every Ghanaian pays, why can’t the Government pay its bills? When they owe, they say the taxpayers should pay the debt that they have neglected to pay.”
Nana Akomeah reiterated the NPP’s commitment to protecting the interests of Ghanaians adding that the party will do everything it can to ensure that tax payers are not exploited.
“What we want to achieve is to relieve Ghanaians from the increased hardships that are going to be visited on them by the astronomical increases in the last month of the electricity by 60 percent, water by 50 percent and petrol by 27 percent. We seek to relieve Ghanaians of the enormous hardships,” he said.
“The vast majority of the youth do not even have work. Now that they are increasing the cost of businesses, how are they going to expand to give jobs to the teeming youth.”
By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana