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Budget Review: Traders Kick against Tax Increment

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Business centres are buzzing with traffic and you can see hundreds of rushing people walking on the streets―pushing, shoving and shouting but none of them seem excited about the speculated tax increment in the upcoming mid-year budget review.

Since the news surfaced that government intends increasing VAT and the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL), some Ghanaian traders at major business centres in the capital have expressed worry over the purported―kicking vehemently against it.

The PUBLISHER hit the markets to sample opinions and the market survey recorded that traders dreaded the outcome of tax increase.

Lady Amawei, a textile trader expressed frustrations over what she called low patronage of her goods and did not want to fathom the turnouts if indeed taxes increase.

“The situation would be worse if that happens because even now we are suffering so if the tax come, boo boo; we are finished,” she said.

Another trader Bisiwa who owns a boutique was reluctant to speak with us; she said it was unnecessary since nothing they say would prevent government from executing the decisions it wants to.

She was however quick to advice that even if there is an increment, “it should be reasonable enough not to cripple our businesses.”

Business owners have also warned that any Tax upsurge would be passed on to consumers.

“As for tax, it is always part of business. If they increase it, we too we will increase the price of our goods. We cannot take it expensive and sell it cheap. Everybody must be ready to sacrifice something,” Nana Kojo, a wine shop owner submitted.

A rippling effect on goods and services is in the offing since most items sold on the market have VAT and NHIL on them.

Think Tanks

Traders are not the only persons up in arms with government’s supposed decision. Some social groups and think tanks are asking government what the increase would be channelled into.

President of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe says government must reconsider what it intends to use the said revenue for.

According to him, it would be a wrong turn if government introduces additional tax to support programmes like free Senior High School (SHS) and one-district-one factory.

“IMANI is against any increases in taxes especially going to some of the freebies that were promised without any proper means destined. We don’t want that. It is going to add to the burden Ghanaians already feel,” he said.

Meanwhile, all doubts and speculations would be laid bare as the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, presents the Mid-year budget review in parliament, tomorrow.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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