Increasing fuel taxes is ill-timed, completely insensitive – COPEC
Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) are up in arms with government over the implementation of taxes announced in the Supplementary Budget.
The tax increases which took effect Sunday has increased pump prices effective September 1.
In a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Duncan Amoah, Monday, it said, “this move at increasing fuel taxes is nothing but ill-timed, ill-advised and completely insensitive as its repercussions on the country and the people will far outweigh any benefits anticipated thereof from this needless increases.”
The OMCs are “demanding without delay, an immediate reversal and withdrawal of this recent hikes in order to make way for further dialogue on the current fuel price build-up with the view to reversing the recent unfortunate trend of persistent increases…”
The Companies say the increase serves no good aside putting lives and businesses across the country on the edge.
Below is the statement
Fuel prices increased as taxes go up; Reverse and withdraw the tax increased immediately
Some of the leading Oil Marketing Companies ( OMCs ) across the country have increased pump prices effective yesterday 1st of September 2019.
Pump prices have shot up from the previous ¢5.19/litre to about ¢5.39/litre representing a 3.7% jump in previous figures at the pumps.
Several calls on government over the past year to review the overburdening taxes on the petroleum price build-up has not been heeded to till date, with the excuse of Government having no control over pump prices due to the price deregulation programme currently in force.
In a rather bizarre twist, however, the Finance Minister contrary to the public expectation of a downward review of the crippling taxes on the petroleum price build-up has rather through the 2019 midyear budget review increased the already choking levels of fuel taxes leading to this current increases Ghanaians are seeing at the pumps now.
We would want to appeal to the Government to be sensitive to the plight of the Ghanaian, especially drivers and all other petroleum users as most are already complaining gravely, about the already high incidence of fuel prices across pumps.
It is our considered view that the revenue Government so desires to raise for which it is further increasing fuel taxes and by extension, the hardships on Ghanaians can easily be realised from the blocking of all the needless avenues being employed currently by the fuel smuggling syndicate.
Fuel smuggling accounts for over 17% of all fuel sold within the country currently and what this implies is that Government loses close to 1/5 of all petroleum taxes and revenues as may be due it to this fuel smuggling cartel.
Ghana is known to have lost in excess of over ¢4 billion over the last 3 year period, thus rendering the argument of government seeking to rake in some ¢400 million for the remaining of 2019 and ¢1.4 billion for the whole of 2020 with the increment in taxes completely unjustifiable.
Whiles pump prices in Ghana continue to be higher than most countries across the sub-region, the attendant problems fuel price increments bring cannot be overstated aside the general hardships and economic downturns such increases portends to everything and everyone within the country.
We believe this move at increasing fuel taxes is nothing but ill-timed, ill-advised and completely insensitive as its repercussions on the country and the people will far outweigh any benefits anticipated thereof from this needless increases.
We are hereby demanding without delay, an immediate reversal and withdrawal of this recent hikes in order to make way for further dialogue on the current fuel price build-up with the view to reversing the recent unfortunate trend of persistent increases, as it is serving no good aside putting lives and businesses across the country on the edge.