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Burdening workers with taxes unfair – TUC justifies ultimatum to govt

Nana Tuffuor Boateng

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has described the 15 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) imposed on electricity consumption above the lifeline as an easy way for the government to raise revenue, which is unfair to consumers. At a press conference on Tuesday, January 23, TUC gave the government a seven-day ultimatum to withdraw the tax, citing its detrimental impact on the livelihoods of ordinary Ghanaians, particularly pensioners and low-income earners.

TUC’s deputy General Secretary, Joshua Ansah, in an interview on Eyewitness News on Citi FM, also cautioned that if the government does not revoke the tax imposition, organized labour will advise itself and take action.

He told Nana Tuffuor Boateng that VAT is not the only means the government can use to clear the energy sector debt to stabilize the electricity supply in the country. “Organized labour will advise itself, and unions will do what unions often do when an unpopular decision or tax is introduced that affects workers.”

“VAT is not the only thing the government can do to bring back the lights. I don’t think that is the only way the government can take to make the electricity supply stable when a lot of the population is suffering. This is not fair, and that is why workers are resisting it with all their might.”

“If you are bringing additional taxes or VAT, then it is an easy way for the government. There are other ways the government can use to raise revenue, and it must work harder. To be burdening workers every day is not fair,” Mr. Ansah added.

In a letter dated January 1, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta directed the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO) to implement the VAT, aiming to raise revenue for the COVID-19 recovery program.

By: Kabah Atawoge

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