Taxpayers� Alliance Ghana Demands Removal Of 17.5% Vat On Petroleum Products

The debilitating economic condition is a disappointment to taxpayers whose toil and sweat is the oil that propels the wheels of the Ghanaian economy. The problems of the taxpayers compound by the day under the leadership of President John Dramani Mahama. If for nothing at all, taxpayers of Ghana were anxious to be handed a reprieve in the 2015 budget statement to reduce the tax burden on them and make life a little bearable. Prudence and good faith from government towards the faithful taxpayer would have reduced fuel prices instead of this astronomical 17.5% VAT. Government should not think all taxpayers are ignorant of the development in the international oil market prices and hide behind IMF policies to unleash further economic agonies unto poor taxpayers of the Country. For about five months consecutively, oil prices on the global market has reduce from high of $105 barrel to $75 a barrel. This accounts for a whooping $30 reduction in crude oil price. So what urgent justification does government have to increase petroleum prices? Taxpayers alliance is even more enraged by the express attempts by government to conceal what constitutes the price build up of petroleum price in Ghana. Taxpayers of Ghana cannot forget that in 2013 a Member of Parliament secured judgement against the National Petroleum Authority (NPA) for illegally including certain taxes described as ex-refinery differentials on petroleum products. The ruling by a court of competent jurisdiction that the tax be removed and price of petroleum product reduced with immediate effect has been ignored with impunity by government. Surprisingly, after the government failed to comply with the directive, it has sought to treat taxpayers with contempt by slapping a 17.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products at a time that oil prices are at all time low on the international market. Tax Payers Alliance Ghana is asking government to make public what components constitute the pricing of petroleum products in the country. This will demonstrate good faith and trust by government to those on the farms, markets, streets, factories etc whose living conditions worsen by the day as prices of goods and services incessantly gallop largely due to unjustifiable petroleum price hikes in the country. We therefore demand the immediate removal of the 17.5% VAT on petroleum products to lessen the tax burden on Ghanaians. TPAG also finds it intriguing that the public debt of Ghana has risen sharply to GHC 60.8 billion taken the country back to the infamous Highly Indebted Poor country (HIPC) status as was the case in the year 2000. The poor tax payer of present and generations to come will ultimately suffer the payment of this debt emanating from reckless public expenditure and corruption. We caution government to instil fiscal discipline and tackle corruption which is commonplace in recent times in order to achieve prudent public financial management and debt sustainability for the country. This is the surest way to promote development, secure social progress and better standards of living for the taxpayers of Ghana.