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Ghanaians will remember October as month of insensitive tax increases – Sam George

Source The Ghana Report/ Dave Alamisi

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo Prampram, Sam Nartey George, has criticised the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government over the increment of the Communications Service Tax (CST).

The Member of Parliament’s Select Committee on Communications sees the move as a hindrance to technology development and innovation as the increased CST places a higher cost on data as well as other internet-driven products and services.

The CST, also known as ‘Talk Tax’, was introduced by Parliament in 2008 to generate revenue through a six-per cent tax on the value of services provided by telecommunication companies in Ghana.

However, in a supplementary budget presented to Parliament in July 2019, Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, announced a 50 per cent increase in the tax from six per cent to nine per cent.

The telecommunication firms, however, passed on the cost to consumers thereby resulting in a high cost of internet service for the same volume of data purchased.

At the 7th edition of the Truth Forum organised by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) at its party headquarters in Accra, the MP described the action as counterproductive to government’s technology drive being spearheaded by Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.

According to him, “Nana Akufo-Addo’s administration decided simply without recourse to consumers and current market indicators to increase the CST by 50 per cent”.

For him, the tax hike shows “a lack of policy coherence on the part of this government as it claims to be driving technology and the face of that is Dr Mahamudu Bawumia. It talks about driving technology inclusivity, yet appears to be slapping indecent tax hikes on the same technology”.

In his opinion “President Akufo-Addo is simply insensitive to the plight of the Ghanaians”.

He believes “October 2019 will go down as October to remember” citing increased fuel prices, increased electricity tariffs, increased water tariffs and implementation of the 50 per cent increase in CST within the same month.

He said Ghanaians are feeling the adverse effects of the “bad leadership of Akufo-Addo’s administration” and concluded that the NPP government promised to move Ghana from taxation to production but acted contrary, describing it as “unacceptable”.

In his view, President Akufo-Addo has “broken his moral and social contract with Ghanaians and has eroded the trust and confidence in his ability to lead Ghana”.

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