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30.03.2005 General News

Organised Labour calls for reduction in Petroleum Taxes

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Accra, March 30, GNA - Organised Labour on Wednesday called on the Government to reduce the tax component of the current fuel price build up to mitigate the negative impact on the cost of living of the people.

At a press conference in Accra, the Trades Union Congress, the Ghana National Teachers Association, Ghana Registered Nurses Association, Ghana Federation of Labour and the Civil Servants Association, said the quantum of taxes in the price build up needed to be brought down to make life meaningful for Ghanaians.

Government in February increased petroleum prices by 50 per cent, bringing the price of petrol to 30,000 cedis per gallon. Mr Kwasi Adu-Amankwa, Secretary General of the TUC, said taxes alone constituted 42.8 per cent of the new price and this needed to be reviewed downwards.

The ex-refinery price is 45.5 per cent and 11.7 per cent represented margins, he said.

He mentioned in particular the Social Mitigation Levy, which he said, should be taken out of the tax build up immediately before discussions were opened on others.

Mr Adu-Amankwa debunked assertions that Organised Labour was consulted in the fixing of the petroleum prices and explained that although there was a meeting with Organised Labour five days before the announcement of the new price, the consultations did not have anything to do with the level of increases.

On subsidies, Mr Adu-Amankwa said it was not true that the Government was paying subsidy on petroleum products, explaining that a look at the breakdown of prices showed that the Government was rather losing the revenue it realized from imposition of taxes when world crude prices go up.

He expressed the hope that the Government would respond favourably to the request to lower the taxes.

However, he said, Organised Labour would consider other options to enforce its demands if the Government failed to heed its appeal.

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