Mobile phone users kick against imminent tariff increases

General News of Thursday, 18 October 2018

Source: Myjoyonline.com

2018-10-18

Kenneth Ashigbey said the the impact of the tax review will also affect the telecom companies

Some mobile phone users are kicking against an imminent tariff increase by service operators.

According to the consumers, the planned increase announced by the Chamber of telecommunications, will make life unbearable for them.

The sentiments by the mobile phone users follow a statement issued Wednesday by the Chamber announcing tariff adjustments following the revision of government taxes.

The Chamber said the tariff modification has become necessary following the implementation of the new tax laws – VAT (ACT 970), NHIL (ACT 971) and GETFL (ACT 972).

Users of MTN, AirtelTigo and Vodafone who are expected to bear the brunt of the increases told JOYNEWS they cannot bear the tariff increases.

But the Chamber of telecommunications says the modifications have become imperative.

Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Ashigbey told Joy News’ Roland Walker, the impact of the tax review will necessarily also affect the telecom companies.

“These levies have become sales taxes. It is a consumer tax. As an industry it is just deciding that the principle of saying there is a tax that has been imposed, the government has clearly identified who the incidence is on so it ought to be passed on,” he said.

He added the telcos would have to explain to the consumers what the issues are so they can prepare for it.

Shortly after the announcement of the new taxes, some business groups and trade unions like the Food and Beverages Association, lamented the impact of these new taxes on their members with the Association of Ghana Industries AGI calling for a review of the five percent flat rate tax imposed on goods and services approved by parliament in July.

Chief Executive Officer of AGI Seth Twum Akwaboah told Joy News’ Komla Adom, the association is still engaging with the Finance Ministry to review some of the taxes going into the 2019 budget.

“When the tax law came up we were having difficulty with the whole arrangement especially for us manufacturers because of the cascading effect of the tax,” he said

According to him, they have raised their concerns in writing to the Finance Ministry and are having discussions on a possible review of the taxes in the 2019 Budget.

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