The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has called on government to urgently scrap what it described as “obnoxious and counterproductive” taxes that are creating more hardships for Ghanaians.
These taxes, the NDC stated, were the 1.5 per cent Electronic Transfer Levy (E-levy), the one per cent COVID-19 levy on the Value Added Tax Flat Rate and the National Health Insurance Levy.
Other taxes were the Special Petroleum Tax, the Sanitation Levy, the new Energy Sector Levy on petrol, diesel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) as well as the Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Wednesday (August 3, 2022), the National Communications Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi, further called on the government to relieve both the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, as head of the Economic Management Team and Ken Ofori-Atta as Finance Minister for mismanaging the country's economy.
The NDC further pointed out that the two personalities should be replaced with fresh and competent people with new ideas to handle the economy.
They stressed that such a measure would be “the last two puzzles” for the government to resolve to be able to bring the economy back on track, restore investor confidence and ameliorate the sufferings of Ghanaians.
“It is about time our tired, clueless and incompetent Vice President is finally relieved for new ideas and competent hands to take over and steer the Economic Management Team at this time of unspeakable hardships," Mr Gyamfi intimated.
On the other hand, the communications officer intimated that “regardless of our running to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the only way to begin the process of rebuilding the economy, if we are to get any good deal from the IMF, is to sack Ken Ofori-Atta immediately and appoint a fresh, able hand to lead the IMF negotiations”.
Mr Gyamfi further alleged that President Akufo-Addo’s cousin had run down the country’s economy through excessive borrowings and that his name scares away investors and evokes a feeling of insecurity for every Ghanaian".
Impact of mismanagement
The communications officer explained that the mismanagement of the economy by the duo had led to high inflation rates, high fuel prices, crippling fuel taxes such as the Sanitation Levy, Special Petroleum Tax, new Energy Sector Levies and Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy.
He said the COVID-19 Levy and E-Levy, deteriorating exchange rate due to worsening fiscal position and worsening unemployment situation, were all the by-products of economic mismanagement by the two.
On inflation, he noted that the rate stood at 15.4 per cent in December 2016, but as of June 2022, the country recorded “a whopping 30 per cent which was the worst in the sub-region and in fact the worst inflation Ghana had recorded in the last nineteen years".
Touching on the mid-year budget, Mr Gyamfi argued that one would have thought that this mid-year period would have at least afforded government the opportunity to take urgent steps towards arresting the ever-rising inflation rate.
Sadly, he said, last week, the Finance Minister in his 2022 Mid-year Budget Review Statement to Parliament projected an end-of-year inflation rate of 28.5 per cent.
Comparison, misplaced priorities
Mr Gyamfi further posited that “misplaced priorities have underlined the ruling government's expenditure in the last five and a half years".
Tax revenues, borrowed funds, Eurobonds, oil revenues and donor funds amounting to GH¢ 500 billion accrued to this government in the last five years.
However, the communications officer observed that the Auditor-General’s reports from 2017 to 2020 showed shocking revelations about this government's continuous waste of meagre state resources.
Comparatively, he said the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia-led government had had more funds than the Mahama-led NDC's paltry GH¢ 200 billion.
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