Financial expert form the University of Ghana Business School, Prof. Godfred Bokpin has added his voice to the call that urges the government to consider tax relief measures in the upcoming 2024 budget statement, asserting that the current tax structure imposes a heavy burden on businesses.
Expressing his concerns during an interview on the Sunrise show on 3FM, Prof. Bokpin emphasized that the prevailing tax regime not only constrains businesses but also impedes the growth of a private sector-led economy.
“I agree 100 percent. What Ghana is practicing is not taxation, it is robbery. What Ghana is presiding over right now is not taxation, it is not borne out of tax policy. State-sponsored robbery is what we have in the form of taxes. Where will you find the kind of taxes we have? Go to the ports and see the layers of taxes, how do you do that and expert your private sector to grow and create jobs?”
He articulated that the layers of taxes at the ports severely hamper the capacity of the private sector to thrive and generate employment opportunities.
“We will be unique to think that by presiding over this fiscal regime, tax, and the rest of them, some way somehow, private sector-led economic transformation and inclusive productivity growth will just happen, no.”
The sentiment expressed by Prof. Bokpin aligns with the appeals made by various business bodies, including the Food and Beverages Association. The association has highlighted that sustained economic progress necessitates relieving the private sector of excessive tax burdens, encompassing corporate, consumption, and income taxes.
Drawing attention to the adverse effects of over taxation, the association emphasized on how businesses’ are excessively taxed, their capability to invest in research and development for expansion diminishes. This inhibits their ability to achieve economies of scale, impeding optimal operational efficiency.
As the country anticipates the presentation of the government’s 2024 Annual Budget Statement and Economic Policy by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on November 15, 2023, the urgency for a revised fiscal approach becomes increasingly pivotal.
Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, confirmed this scheduled presentation in an announcement made in Parliament in Accra on Tuesday, October 31.
In summary, the convergence of opinions from experts and business entities underscores the pressing need for reevaluation of Ghana’s tax structure. The collective appeal urges a reformation in tax policies, advocating for a business-friendly environment by reducing tax burdens and scrapping unfriendly levies, ultimately fostering a conducive ecosystem for economic growth and sustainability.
Story by : Nsoh Ezekiel | univers.ug.edu.gh