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Politics of Thursday, 3 March 2016

Source: Today Newspaper

PPP: Mahama doesn’t deserve a second term

Progressive People’s Party (PPP) has cautioned President John Dramani Mahama and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) government to stop burdening Ghanaian businesses with what the party says are “killer taxes.”

In a statement released by the National Secretary of the PPP, Murtala Mohammed Ahmed, and copied to Today in Accra yesterday, the party noted that the rampant increases in taxes and the imposition of taxes have the potential of “killing local industries and businesses.”

The PPP, therefore, urged the electorates to vote the NDC out in the impending November polls, since it has failed to address the existing economic challenges.

According to the party, Ghana Union of Trader’s Association (GUTA), Food and Beverages Importers Association of Ghana (FBIAG), Ghana Auto Mobile Dealers Association (GADA), Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Customs Brokers Association of Ghana (CUBAG), Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana are on strike as a result of increases in taxes and the introduction of new taxes by the central government.

The statement pointed out that it was the responsibility of government to ensure that local industries and businesses grow by creating enabling opportunities and making the economy “business friendly” for them.

It stressed that tax incentives, protection against foreign firms, easy access to loans with low interest, restriction on importation of goods that can be manufactured locally are the mechanisms government must put in place to help in the growth and development of local industries.

“This reckless decision on the part of government has consigned some local businesses to economic scrapheap with no prospects,” the statement indicated.

The statement reminded government that the power crisis that they plunged Ghana into resulted in the collapse of local businesses and industries, and loss of many jobs..

It explained that the few ones that survived and are struggling to find their feet cannot be burdened with “Killer” taxes.

The statement noted that government greeted Ghanaians at the beginning of 2016 with over 50% increase in utility tariffs and subsequently about 25% increase in petroleum prices.

Amidst these increments, it averred that President Mahama and his inconsiderate NDC government have imposed a 3% special levy on imports and also introduced the ECOWAS common External Tariffs.

According to the statement, the Valued Added Tax (VAT) has been increased to 2.5% and insurance premiums to about 500%. We also understand that traders have to go through over 20 inspection institutions at the port before they can clear their goods.

It asked “Is Government insensitive to its own people? Does Government only take delight in imposing of taxes on its Citizens? This loathsome and heedless attitude of the NDC Government must stop.”

In the estimation of the PPP, this should not be happening in Ghana.

Along this line the PPP called on government to widen the tax net and look for proper ways of raising revenue rather than slamming of taxes on innocent Citizens and local businesses.

“We need to apply proper procurement practices in order to save millions of cedis that we lose to corruption in this country.

“…the Progressive People’s Party commiserates with the Joint Private Sector Business Consultative Forum in this difficult time, and we wish to remind President Mahama and the NDC government that leadership is not about propaganda,” it asserted.

The PPP also called on the central government to sit with the leadership of the Joint Private Sector Business Consultative Forum and listen to their concerns.

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