The Minority in Parliament has vowed to kick against any tax waiver policy government is seeking to present before the House for approval.
The NDC MPs argue the decision will only favour some select few to the detriment of the poor and locally-owned businesses in the country.
According to the Ranking Member on the Trade and Industry Committee, Yussif Sulemana, the Minority has identified a GH₵7 billion tax exemption the government intends to introduce under the guise of One District One Factory, while in actuality it is seeking to benefit the government cronies.
Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, he said, “the kind of taxes that this government has imposed on us, starting from 2017 to date, about 50 taxes that have been imposed after they had come to say that taxes that were imposed by the NDC government were nuisance.
“We have also been reliably informed, and we are speaking because we have seen documents that suggest that they are bringing another GH₵7 billion tax waiver request to Parliament. Now, if you put the two together, you are talking about GH₵12.5 billion, in tax exemptions. Okay. Here you are, wanting to grant GH₵12.5 billion to your friends and your family members in the name of tax exemptions in the name of 1D1F.”
Mr Sulemana stressed that the Minority would oppose any of such taxes because the citizenry has long been afflicted, adding that such tax exemption solely enriches the elite whilst the average Ghanaian suffers.
He clarified that the Minority is not opposed to the idea of taxing, as it was one of the ways to generate revenue and promote development, but the unfair mode of generation.
The Bole Bamboi MP referred to the current GH₵100 eco-tax the government intends to collect from vehicle owners. He raised questions about how small and large vehicles are expected to pay a leveled amount of money.
According to him, the government could vary the pricing, that way large vehicles pay more, and small vehicles pay less.
Again, the ranking member also questioned the unit of measurement the government would use to detect the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by these vehicles.
He stated that in the long run, this eco-tax will again favor some select few.
“What mechanisms have you put in place to be able to measure the carbon that you want to even tax? So again, what you are going to see is that they look into a face and say that the carbon that you have generated is 20 tons. Multiply that by 10, okay, by 100. And then they take money from you.
“They look at a person’s face and say, oh, this guy, he is a party person. He has done only five. So you multiply 100 by five and he also pays that again, doesn’t satisfy the principles of taxation we call equity or certainty. So I don’t know how much I’m going to pay. And I don’t know whether or not what I’m paying is the same thing somebody else is paying. When the person generates almost the same carbon dioxide that we are all talking about.
On the back of this, he emphasised that “These are nuisance taxes, and we must not allow this government to impose these taxes on the already suffering Ghanaians.”