The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce (GNCCI), Mark Badu Aboagye, has described as inimical the passage of the government’s three new taxes.
He laments that there are many taxes which are already collapsing businesses adding that the new taxes will compound the cost of doing business in Ghana.
Parliament on Friday, March 31, passed the Excise Duty Amendment Bill 2022, the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill, 2022, the Ghana Revenue Authority Bill 2022 and the Income Tax Amendment Bill 2022.
The financial bills seek to raise about 4 billion Ghana Cedis annually as part of domestic revenue mobilisation.
Speaking to newsmen in Accra, Mr. Aboagye said, “I think that already a lot of businesses are suffering. There’s a multiplicity of taxes in this country. Ghana is the only country that is still taxing people for COVID-19. The cost of doing business is already high. The policy rate has just been increased to 29.5%, that is translating into a lending rate of about 45%. Water and electricity have all gone up. All these things put together, the environment is very harsh for businesses, and businesses are now finding their feet. Then we come up with other taxes, these taxes are counterproductive and are inimical to businesses. Businesses are going to collapse”.
He bemoaned the many businesses which are not making profits.
“Most of them are not making profits. You bring a tax, that the little profits that they will make, and reinvest into their businesses, you now come in with a tax that will now take away part of the profit. What we are doing is that we are killing businesses,” he bemoaned.
Mr. Aboagye slammed government for being insensitive to the plight of businesses.
“In other countries, they are using both fiscal and monetary policies to strengthen the private sector. We are using our fiscal policies [taxes] to kill businesses. The end is not going to be good for us. Because we want IMF money, nothing is important to us. We are not being sensitive to those going to pay the taxes, businesses and even the consumers,” the CEO of GNCCI pointed out.
He feared that businesses are likely to lay off more people due to the incessant taxes by government.
“Businesses are going to suffer more, businesses are going to lay off people in the not too distant future,” he maintained.
Petition to President Akufo-Addo
He said they will petition President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo today April 4, over the new tax.
“We are going to petition the President. No consultation was done. I think that he’s a listening President and will listen to us,” Mr. Aboagye hoped.
The bills are also crucial to aid the government’s quest to facilitate the Board Approval for the $3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme staff-level agreement.
The Minority in Parliament earlier communicated its opposition to the bills, but the bills were passed despite an MP from the majority suffering a near-fatal accident on his way to the House.