The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) has expressed disappointment at President Nana Akufo-Addo for assenting into law the three new taxes passed by Parliament in March 2023. The union claims that the government failed to engage GUTA on concerns it raised about the taxes when it petitioned the presidency and parliament.
Parliament passed the Excise Duty Amendment Bill 2022, the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill, 2022, the Ghana Revenue Authority Bill 2022, and the Income Tax Amendment Bill 2022 on Friday, March 31.
Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, confirmed to Citi News that the President has assented to the three new taxes. However, GUTA believes that the decision to pass the taxes into law without engaging the business community is unfair and does not bode well for democracy in Ghana.
In an interview with Eyewitness News, the president of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, expressed his displeasure at the decision, stating that it directly affects the business community. He criticized the government for imposing the taxes without considering the concerns raised by GUTA in its petition to the presidency and parliament.
“It’s very unfortunate that the business community will be directly affected, and it’s very unfair. It doesn’t augur well for the democracy we are practicing here, and we are practicing democracy of imposition. We petitioned the President and Parliament, and none of them replied,” Dr. Obeng lamented.
The new taxes are expected to affect the cost of doing business in Ghana, which could lead to price increases for consumers. GUTA believes that the government should have engaged with the business community to find a solution that benefits everyone.
The union has called on the government to reconsider its decision and engage with the business community to address their concerns. It also called for transparency in the tax system to ensure that the taxes are used for the intended purpose and not misappropriated.
In conclusion, the Ghana Union of Traders Association’s displeasure at the government’s decision to pass the three new taxes without engaging the business community highlights the importance of stakeholder engagement in decision-making processes. The government must take into account the concerns of all stakeholders to ensure that policies and decisions made benefit everyone.