Traders advocacy group lauds government for not introducing new taxes in budget review

Traders Advocacy Group Ghana has commended the government for not introducing new taxes in the 2021 mid-year budget review.

The government as part of efforts towards reviving the economy amidst the Covid-19- pandemic earlier in the year introduced some new taxes, including the Energy Sector Recovery Levy.

In an interview with Citi Business News, General Secretary of the Traders Advocacy Group Ghana, Nana Poku however said the scrapping of some of these new taxes that he describes as ‘nuisance’ would have been preferred

“Adding more taxes, for traders, I think could have been a suicidal action because the way the economy is trending now, we could see a certain urgency on capital lost on the side of the traders. A lot of the traders have lost most of their capital and yet the finance ministry trying to come with additional taxes wouldn’t have helped and more, so there are some taxes formerly the vice president advocated for it to be removed from the taxation on charges, and now we see that a lot has come on board.”

The taxes that were introduced in the 2021 budget according to the Ghana Revenue Website include; COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy Act, 2021 (Act 1068), the COVID-19 Health Recovery Levy, Financial Sector Recovery Levy Act, 2021 (Act 1067), Energy Sector Levy (Amendment) Act, 2021 (Act 1064), among others.

These taxes were met with a lot of opposition, while the Ghana Union of Traders Associations called on the government to ensure the citizenry get value for money to prevent tax fatigue.

Some like energy consultant, Dr. Yussif Sulemana had also expected a review of the taxes introduced on petroleum products arguing that the additional revenue generated from the sale of the country’s crude due to a hike in fuel prices on the world market should make up for the shortfalls.