The government of Ghana had recently introduced several Taxes including the COVID-19 Tax which it says is meant to help fight the pandemic in Ghana.
The Sanitation and Pollution Levy to help address the issues of sanitation in the country.
Reading the 2021 Budget Statement in Parliament, the Caretaker Minister of Finance, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu said that the Sanitation and Pollution Levy of 10 pesewas will be incorporated into the proposed fuel levy.
This new rate will be charged on the price per litre of petrol/diesel under the Energy Sector Levies Act (ESLA).
However, these taxes have been met with backlash and criticisms from industry players and the general public who say these additional taxes would further worsen the plight of businesses and individuals in the country still recovering from the economic hardship brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The Former Deputy Finance Minister, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey, says the Akufo-led government is making Ghanaians pay for monies the New Patriotic Party (NPP), expended in the just ended electioneering season through the introduction of new and higher taxes.
According to Mr. Fiavi Kwetey, Ghana is the only country on the continent taxing its citizens and businesses for Covid-19 related procurements.
“The whole problem really is that we are dealing with a government that simply went broke in an election year and they totally expended way beyond what they needed to, and to them, you and I and the people of Ghana are being made to pay what we call the price for that electioneering recklessness and they used Covid as their excuse.”
He added that “Covid was not just limited to Ghana. Covid happened all over Africa but ask yourself, have you heard of Cote D’Ivoire implementing any of these draconian measures after Covid? No. Have you heard it in Nigeria? No. Have you heard it in Togo? No. Have you heard it in Benin? No. Rwanda? No. No country is taking this route as we are taking.
“Do you know the difference? Because whereas they concentrated on Covid, we use Covid as an excuse to go for electioneering recklessness that has actually caused us the problem that we are having today.”
He, thus, called on the Akufo-Addo administration to come clean on the real reasons for the taxes.
“So that deception needs to be completely explained.”
“I heard Awuah and the rest, and all of them are saying that we need to allow them to raise money in order to be able to develop the country. That is not the same as destroying the finances of this country using the election as an excuse. And hiding under covid and then come around and penalize the people of Ghana to the kind of taxation that they are bringing,” he said.