A political Historian with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Dr. Samuel Adu Gyamfi, has bemoaned the hardship in the country under President Nana Akufo-Addo.
The lecturer who was reacting to the street protest by pressure group Arise Ghana stated that the demonstration was justified because the leaders of the country have not shown empathy to the masses at a time the economy is crumbling.
Speaking to Piesie Okrah on Dwboase on TV XYZ, Dr Adu Gyamfi kicked against the introduction of the electronic transaction levy (E-Levy), stressing that the policy has bitten lower income earners hard.
“If this government appreciates the struggles of the people, the president would have acted long ago,” he argued and made reference to the past street protests such as the one organised by the #FixtheCountry conveners.
As a leader who led series of demonstrations including the famous ‘Kume preko’ which was staged against the introduction of VAT, President Akufo-Addo should have known better by sympathising with Ghanaians.
“When the masses are suffering, you don’t tax them,” he fumed as he tagged the government’s reluctance to cut down taxes on petroleum products to give the people some respite as senseless.
Dr Adu Gyamfi is not the first policy influencer in recent times to ask government to review its tax policies in the country.
Last month, the Director of Strategy and Business Operations at Dalex Finance, Joe Jackson, advised the Akufo-Addo government to take bold steps to reduce inflation in the country, by cutting off some import taxes.
He said the hardship among citizens was becoming unbearable as incessant fuel price hikes pushed inflation higher.
“Taxes on various foods imported into the country must be slashed,” Jackson told Piesie Okrah on Kawadwen on TV XYZ.
Asked which products, Jackson said, ” taxes on rice, wheat and meat that are imported into the country should be slashed drastically.”
“I am not saying the taxes be scrapped forever but within this period that we are in difficult times. As we say inflation is going high, it is the prices of food that is driving it at a top speed,” Mr Jackson explained in Akan.
Mr Jackson was reacting to the increase in the price of livestock fueling meat price hikes on the country’s markets.
When XYZ News team got the shores of James Town– the heart of meat production in Accra– traders said the prices of live animals have gone high.
The place usually referred to as ‘Bodey’ is where sellers buy livestock such as cattle, sheep and goat to sell at various markets such as Circle, Madina, Ashaiman and beyond.
Blaise Bé-Uuvor, the National Secretary of the Livestock Dealers Association of Ghana affirmed that they have had to adjust prices of their live and dressed animals.
“Recently the prices of live animals have gone up because of the CFA. We import these animals from Burkina but recently we have to get more cedis to get the CFA,” he lamented.
Obviously the depreciation of the Cedi against major currencies have resulted in higher prices of animals bought from Burkina Faso to Ghana with consumers bearing the brunt.
Mr Bé-Uuvor also observed that last year GHS 35,000 could buy about 100 average sized goats but now he has to cough more than GHS 60,000 to get about 80-90 goats.
The Ghana Statistical Service last month announced that surging food prices pushed the rate of inflation in May 2022 to 27.6%. That was against 23.6% that was recorded in April 2022.
Fuel prices have soared incessantly in the past 6 months, shooting transport fares up which has resulted in heightening food inflation.