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The President of Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) Dr. Joseph Obeng has disclosed his consent on the likely increment of Value Added Tax (VAT) from 17.5 to 21 per cent.

The Finance minister Honourable Ken Ofori-Attah is expected to present this in the mid-year budget to Parliament on Thursday.

He made this assertion in an interview on a sister station.

According to Dr Joseph Obeng, the Union had the opportunity to meet the Finance minister, who explained with tangible reasons why the government wants to increase taxes.

However, the Union also indicated to the government the burden on them over other taxes and if the government could find some creative ways to increase its taxes.

Mr Obeng reiterated that the government should enforce the payment of taxes as some citizens do not pay their taxes. If this is properly done, the 3 and 17.5 per centcollected at the Ports would be more than enough to finance the activities of the government.

The President of GUTA indicated that the union would not agree to the decision of the government to increase taxes even it is a speculative report. It is the duty of the government to ensure every tax payer contributes his quota.

Dr Joseph Obeng explained that the increment of the tax to 21 per cent will increase the Port duty to 45 per cent aside the 18 other taxes paid at the port which is a about 1o-12 per cent adding up to 57 per cent.

It is about the highest in the whole world, we would not agree. He asserted.

The VAT is across board, it is paid after the duty. The duty is added to the capital after which the VAT is charged.

A lot of taxes have been introduced at the port. Common External Tariffs (CET) has doubled the tariff from 10 to 20 per cent. This tariff is an initiative of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to harmonize the market of its members.

Mr Obeng emphasized that the government is not being fair to its citizens because comparing our VAT to that of Nigeria, their VAT is about 12.5 per cent lower than that of Ghana.

Paying 20 per cent of CET and 17.5 per cent tax to clear your goods at the port is unfair to Ghanaians.

As well as the introduction of Container trafficking notes (CTN).

Mr Obeng cleared the air on the reduction of the duty at the port only favoured some items of the spare parts dealers. Which according to him, certain tariffs were added such that impact of the reduction was not felt after paying the VAT.

Dr Joseph Obeng concluded that the mid-year review of the budget is on both income and expenditure. If the income is “saturated”, the expenditure should be reviewed.

Better still value for money should be placed on certain expenditure to prevent the inflation of one million dollar project to twenty million dollars.


Story By : Michael Nabary and Minnette Akuamoa/