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Saturday, February 13, 2010

AFAG Threatens Mass Demo If...

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The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) has warned of mass protests and demonstration if government fails to review recent taxes imposed on commodities.

A leading member of the group Samuel Awuku told Joy News’ Evans Mensah they will use every legitimate process to press home their demand for a tax reduction.

Government recently imposed a 20 per cent tax on packaged water and over 500 per cent increases on road tolls which have generated a groundswell of controversy.

Whilst conceding that government has a right to impose taxes to raise revenue for development, Samuel Awuku argued the quantum of the taxes is unacceptable.

“More than 500 per cent on road tolls cannot be justified,” he insisted, adding the hardships it will impose on the average Ghanaian is unbearable.

He also posits that under no conscionable economic circumstance should the government impose taxes on water.

Samuel Awuku was of the opinion that water is a basic necessity used by all Ghanaians and should not attract any taxes.

Taxing such a commodity he maintained will not be in the interest of the majority of Ghanaians who fall within the poverty line.

He said government must overhaul its economic management team, most of who he accuses of being in bed with the IMF.

But in a rebuttal, a Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwah said the taxes were justified and were tailored to the development needs of the country.

Contrary to the accusation that government had taxed water; the deputy information minister said it is the packaging that has been taxed and not the commodity itself.

He explained that the 500 per cent increase in road toll is to compensate for the long number of years within which the road tolls had remained unchanged.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa pledged that government will be transparent in the tax administration in the country, something he hinted the Kufuor administration did not do.
Source: Myjoyonline/Ghana

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