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25.11.2011 General News

Gov is overtaxing Ghanaians -Minority

By Ghanaian Chronicle
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The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Minority in Parliament has called on the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Kwabena Duffuor, to explain why Ghanaians are paying more than what they should have paid in taxes this year.

According to the NPP, the law authorising such a tax component takes effect from today, and therefore, wonders why the government should over-tax its people without any reason.

The NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla, Dominic Nitiwul, who made the call on behalf of his colleagues, was contributing to the debate on the Financial Policy Statement of the government for the year ending December 31, 2012.

The motion for the commencement of the debate on the 2012 Budget was moved on the floor of the House by Dr. Duffuor on Tuesday, exactly one week after presenting the policy document at the same venue.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, according to Nitiwul, had accused Parliament of being the architect behind the over-taxation, but little did he know that the maturity of the said tax component in the LI considered by the House, takes effect from today.

'Madam Speaker, the LI was brought to the House on August 25, 2011, and will only expire on Thursday, November 24, 2011. It has 21 working days to mature. So, it is not the fault of Parliament, but rather the fault of the Ministry and the government that workers were over-taxed, and that workers would want to know why they were over-taxed,' explained the Bimbilla MP.

At a post-budget workshop for the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC), the Head of the Tax Policy Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Siaw-Larbi, announced that the government had overtaxed Ghanaians this year, and directed them to talk to the Tripartite Committee to bring the situation to a halt.

He, however, did not give reasons as to how the taxation came about, but was quick to add that 'no government takes delight in over-taxing its citizens.'

Currently, only 1.5 million out of 24 million Ghanaians, according to Dr. Larbi-Siaw, pay direct tax to the government.

Dominic Nitiwul, incensed by the hardship economic situation Ghanaians are going through, called on the Finance Minister to accept the responsibility, and not blame Parliament for imposing so much burden on the people they represent.

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