The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has taken on the government for failing to scrap the taxes on sanitary pads in the mid-year budget review.
He had earlier urged the government to take advantage of the review to scrap the taxes, but that was not the case in the presentation by the finance minister on Monday, July 31.
The speaker was reacting to the matter on the floor of Parliament on August 2, when the Member of Parliament for Sefwi Akontombra, Alex Tetteh Djornobuah, in his debate, sought to justify the imposition of the taxes.
Mr Bagbin reiterated the call indicating that the government and future governments do their best to scrap taxes on sanitary pads.
“On the issue of sanitary pads, the government should rethink about it. Because the taxes are not only imported ones, even the locally produced ones are taxed. The businesses met me two days ago [and told me that] even the raw materials are taxed. They were complaining about production to the extent that some of them folded up. This is something that I take seriously. Don’t let us miss the point. I will not tax a woman, my mother, for producing me. I don’t support that at all, so the state must take this matter seriously.”
“There are countries where it is for free, there are countries where a lot of taxes have been removed. That is an issue I’m very passionate about; to all governments that will come, we can do without it. How much do we make from this taxation? We like taxing the poor; we are not taxing the rich,” Mr Bagbin lamented.
A coalition of civil society organizations has also called on the government to scrap the taxes on sanitary pads.
The group highlighted the impact of the 12.5 per cent value-added tax (VAT) and the 20 per cent import tax on the affordability of sanitary pads, making them inaccessible for a significant portion of Ghana’s female population, which constitutes 51 per cent of the country’s total inhabitants.