General News of Thursday, 2 March 2017
Former Mayor of Accra, Alfred Oko Vanderpuije has described as discriminatory the decision by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to scrap levies exacted from head porters popularly called Kayayei in the country.
“If government is scrapping that toll it should say it is scrapping the market tolls across the board,” he advocated, adding everyone who trade in markets in the capital are taxed.
Mr Oko Vandepuije said he expected government to annul all market tolls since it did not segment when it announced the abolishing of duties on spare parts importation.
“It should have said no more market tolls.”
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has listed some eight taxes that would be abolished in 2017 when he presented government’s maiden budget to Parliament on Thursday.
The taxes which include duties on spare parts importation, 17.5 percent VAT on domestic tickets and Kayayei levy among others, are aimed at easing the difficulties in the economy, the Minister has said.
The tax cuts have drawn applause from sections of Ghanaians especially spare parts dealers at Abossey Okai and the Kayaye Association in Kumasi.
Kayaye Association’s General Secretary, Amadu Aminu told Joy News they will be meeting to decide how to celebrate what he described as the “good news” from government.
“For the past years the ‘paaopa levy’ has been a very big headache to the leadership, and we have moved across borders to get something done but our efforts did not yield any results,” he said.
But Mr Oko Vanderpuije who also doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma South said the President has been unfair to local government authorities for scrapping the head porters levy.
“If you segregate and say a Kayaye levy would not be there, everybody would know that when they work in the market, government would support by not taking tolls from them,” he said.
He, nonetheless, said government would find a way to fill the shortfalls that would be experienced in revenue by the abolishing of the levy and other taxes, adding it is too early to laud the government for it has done.