Former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, condemns government for burdening Ghanaians with more taxes

A former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper has condemned the government for the taxes it has levied Ghanaian citizens and businesses with since taking office in 2017.

Former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper

Speaking on JoyNews, Mr Terkper said Ghanaians are “paying more taxes than they did in 2016,” under John Mahama. He said this is contrary to what the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) promised when they were in opposition.

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, for instance, chastised the then Mahama-led administration for “increasing taxes under the economic difficulties they created.”

In a Twitter post at the time, Dr Bawumia said the NPP government will do differently if they are elected. The NPP promised to scrap “nuisance taxes” imposed by the NDC.

But Seth Terkper said that this has not been the case since the NPP came into office.

The NDC introduced the Energy sector levy in January 2016 after passing the Energy Sector Levy Act (ESLA) a month prior.

The government at the time explained that it needed to pay off the loans it had accrued in the power sector.

In July 2019, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta announced an increment in energy sector levy from 17% to 21%. This was one of the 15 new measures announced to address the continuing energy sector challenges.

The benchmark value of import duties at all of the ports in the country was also reduced by up to 50% this year.

But Mr Terkper said this hasn’t necessarily helped all traders. He suggested that it has rather increased the cost of transaction for some traders.

Seth Terkper said the Personal Income Tax has been increased from 25% to 35%.

He added that some temporary taxes that the NDC introduced intending to scrap after a while have now been maintained by the government.

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