Increase tax rate of telcos and mining sector – John Kwakye to gov’t
Director of Research at Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Dr John K. Kwakye has bemoaned the increase in taxes by the government on Ghanaians.
He said rather taxing the overburdened consumers, the government should shift its attention to the booming sectors of the economy.
Stating that the taxes consumers are been made to pay are upsurge while the booming sectors are left to generate more financial resources, citing the mining sector, banks, and telcos.
“Ghanaians, consumers and even businesses, in general, the taxes they are paying are quite high and so if you’re going to raise more tax you don’t just increase existing tax rates for those who are already paying taxes. First, go and look for it from the booming sector of the economy because in economies the sector that is booming is the ones generating more financial resources. So go and look for it from them. The telcos, the banking system, the mining sector and also leakages, is the loses that we make.”
Speaking in an interview, John Kwakye mentioned that if tax exemptions were to be reduced, the government will save close to GHC5 billion.
The senior economist also hinted on the leakages at the port as people importing and exporting goods underprice the value in other to pay fewer taxes.
“Tax exemptions, the president said they amount to about 5 billion and it’s been given to NGOs, parliamentarians, government officials etc. so if we were to reduce those tax exemptions we will save almost 5 billion. And there are other leakages at the port. You know people bring goods in and they underprice the value so that they pay less tax. Others are taking goods out, others are underpricing the goods that they take out so that they pay less taxes and so on and fraud, the corruption that is going on.”
However, he advised government to seal all these loop holes and by so doing more revenues will be raised and consumers will not be overburdened.
“If we were to plug all these loopholes, we will raise a lot more revenue that it will not be necessary to increase taxes for already overburdened consumers.”