Home Sports The draconian taxes must go now – NDC tells Bawumia

The draconian taxes must go now – NDC tells Bawumia

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said that Ghanaians cannot wait until after ten months before the draconian taxes are abolished.

The main opposition wants the government to abolish those taxes now.

“The time to scrap the draconian taxes is now and not the next ten months,” General Secretary of the NDC, Fifi Kwetey said at a press conference in Accra on Wednesday, February 14 while reacting to the address delivered by Dr Bawumia at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) on Wednesday February 7.

He added “A true leader acknowledges the contributions of his predecessors. True leaders understand that leadership is like a relay race and he or she builds the new by acknowledging and appreciating what contribution was handed over to him. Mills/Mahama led NDC acknowledged that the N1 Highway was the accomplishment of the Kufuor led NPP even though the entire work was virtually done during the tenure of Mills/Mahama. Mills/Mahama led NDC similarly did not take any credit for the building of the Bui Dam even though their administration even borrowed additional money to see to the completion of the project.

“When eventually the Bui Dam was being commissioned, President Kufuor was invited and duly acknowledged as the leader whose government secured the finance for the dam. This gratitude is a mark of a secure leader. Bawumia sadly alsohas massive gratitude deficit.

“It takes someone who does not show gratitude: To claim that the Tema to Akosombo (now Mpakadan) rail line was the achievement of the NPP government when all records show that the financing was secured in 2016, one year before the Nana Addo/Bawumia came into office. Cabinet and Parliamentary approvals were also fully finalized before John Mahama left office in January of 2016. To claim that Dumsor was not resolved before the coming of the NPP in 2017 when Bawumia himself publicly declared that John Mahama should not unduly be happy for solving the energy crisis because he was the one who brought it in the first place. Nana Poku of the NPP, an energy expert, publicly stated that JM led NDC solved the problem of Dumsor. To claim that the NPP government introduced the online passport application system when the truth is that the online application system was launched under John Mahama in December 2016.

“To claim that the card was nothing to write home about until Jan 7, 2017. Dr Bawumia deliberately ignoring the significant contributions of the NDC/Mahama administration in developing the GhanaCard system to what it is today. That by 2016, the Mahama administration had: Passed the law that makes the Ghana Card the sole document for identification purposes for any transaction (L.I 2111); Collected biometric and demographic data on about 16 million Ghanaians; Processed about 4.7 million cards; Distributed about 900,000 cards; Procured 9 million blank cards. Upon assumption of office in 2017, Dr. Bawumia constituted a three-man committee headed by Prof. Ken Attafuah, to review the contract and implementation of the Ghana Card system. The committee established the facts enumerated above which is contained on page one (1) of the report and recommended the use of the existing database to continue from where the NDC left off. Indeed, the NIA boss Prof. Ken Attafuah told Parliament that the contract that was signed by the NDC/Mahama administration with the Margins Group, is the same contract that is being implemented today. Clearly, this government only came to continue the implementation of a system that had already been developed by the NDC/Mahama government, as a continuation of what was started under President Kufour and continued by President Mills of blessed memory. The Ghana card credit must therefore be shared by all successive governments who have contributed to where we are today. Bawumia does not even credit his boss, Akufo-Addo. Even though he is in disguise just a third term of Nana Addo, we need to call him for trying to play a fast one on the nation by conveniently throwing his boss under the bus. We see your Game and will not be fooled.”

Dr Bawumia had stated categorically that he would abolish the tax on electronic financial transactions, e-levy, if elected President of Ghana. The controversial tax was introduced in 2022, and prior to the introduction, Vice President Bawumia had declared his opposition to levies on electronic financial transactions in an interview.

Delivering his first major address to the nation after his election as NPP flagbearer, during which he gave broad policy outlines of a Bawumia Presidency, Dr. Bawumia minced no words in declaring his opposition to taxes on electronic financial transactions, declaring that he would abolish e-levy as President.

Dr Bawumia added that his bid for a Digital and Cashless Ghana would be significantly boosted if e-levy is abolished.

“To move towards a cashless economy, however, we have to encourage the population to use electronic channels payment. To accomplish this, there will be no taxes on digital payments under my administration. The e-levy will therefore, be abolished,” he declared at the UPSA auditorium on February 7.

Dr. Bawumia also announced that as part of a new tax regime by his government, he will also abolish the emission tax, tax on betting as well as the proposed 15% VAT on electricity tariffs, if it is in existence by January 2025.

He also announced that his government would introduce what he described as a friendly, flat tax regime for Ghana, which will boost individuals and businesses, particularly small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs).

“My administration will introduce a very simple, citizen and business-friendly flat tax regime. A flat tax of a percentage of income for individuals and SMEs, which constitute 98% of all businesses in Ghana, with appropriate exemption thresholds set to protect the poor,” Dr. Bawumia indicated.

Meanwhile, the Minority Leader Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson has said that his side of the House will submit a private member’s bill to Parliament to compel President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia to remove all the taxes considered nuisance including the e-levy.

Dr Forson says he expects the Majority side of the House who endorsed the announcement of Dr Bawumia to remove the e-levy, to support this private member’s bill.

“If Dr Bawumia wants the tax removed he should do it right now. We will get someone to bring a private members bill to get these taxes removed and we will see if the NPP will support it, e-levy, emission levy and some of the VATs

“The Vice President has signaled to us that they don’t want these taxes and we saw their MPs in favour of the vice president’s position so we want to test whether it is genuine and so we will bring the bill before parliament and we will get them to vote for or vote against and see how it works,” he told Joy News on Tuesday Febraury 13. However, Deputy Minister of Trade and Inistdy Stepna Amoah also said that the Minority Leader has not convinced him to support such a bill.

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