A legal practitioner and member of the communications team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Godwin Edudzi Tameklo says the Minority has always cooperated with the government to approve major tax policies.
This, he said is the Minority’s way of ensuring that the government has enough resources to undertake projects and ensure economic growth.
“The Minority so far has demonstrated so much cooperation with this administration. Major tax policies by the Akufo-Addo administration, we have allowed it,” he said on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday.
Citing some policies the Minority supported, he said, “If you recall, immediately post- COVID, 2021, they came up with a COVID recovery levy, we approved of it, and many, many other taxes that they have come out with.
“Consistent with our policy of ensuring that this country does not grind to a halt, we have always supported issues on tax handles this government has brought,” he told host, Samson Lardy Anyenini.
The legal practitioner’s comments come on the back of the decision of the Finance Minister to reintroduce road toll after the same government had insisted that the electronic transaction levy (e-levy) could generate twice as much money as the toll.
“As of the time road toll was being abolished, we have said the toll was giving annually, GHC72 million. And so when they came with the idea that it was going to generate GHC3.6 billion Ghana cedis within the fiscal year, we said okay if we are going to abolish one and get GHC3.6 billions, then let’s go for it,” he said.
In the push for the abolition of road toll, the NDC stalwart said the government used populism instead proper consultation which resulted in major failures in their tax generation process.
He stressed that this caused the government to come back to the same point.
The NDC stalwart said should the Minority support the re-introduction of road toll, the government must be prepared to set a limit on the rate.
“If these tolls come, are we going to cap it? Because I’m aware that the Finance Minister is in Parliament, with the capping and realignment law basically to amend the provisions. Are we going to add the receivables from the road toll into the greater pool of the consolidated fund?
“Are we going to use the road toll specifically for something more measurable? so that at the end of the day, we know the amount of money that is going to be generated from the road toll, possibly will be used to fix this particular road or to do ABCD,” he said
It would be recalled that in a memo dated 10th March 2023 to the Roads and Highways Ministry, Mr. Ofori-Atta proposed an increment in the amount paid as road toll.
In November 2021, the Finance Minister announced the cessation of the collection of road toll, subject to the approval of Parliament, during the presentation of the budget.
He cited congestion and traffic jams at the toll booths as justification for the decision.
The Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) said it has no problem with the reintroduction of road toll.
However, the Union’s Head of Communications, Abbas Ibrahim Moro, said they will only comply on condition that the money generated will be used for the right purpose.
According to him, many roads are still in deplorable states which leave him baffled about where exactly the revenue has been channelled.