SEND GHANA, a policy think tank says it stands in solidarity with organized labour and concerned citizens across the country in calling for the complete withdrawal of the 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) for residential customers of electricity above the maximum consumption level for lifeline consumers, whose consumption is limited to 30 kilowatt-hours per month.
In a press statement issued in Accra on Monday, February 5, 2024, the Organisation said, “We acknowledge the importance of the government’s Medium-Term Revenue Strategy and the IMF Post COVID-19 Program for Economic Growth (PC-PEG). However, we believe that this should not be achieved at the expense of the most vulnerable segments of our society.”
The implementation of the 15% VAT tax on residential electricity consumption, according to the statement, will burden and undermine the welfare of ordinary Ghanaians who are already grappling with multiple hardships and economic challenges.
It added that “This tax will further exacerbate the financial strain on households, particularly those with limited income, by increasing their utility bills and reducing their disposable income. Access to affordable electricity is crucial for supporting livelihoods, enhancing the quality of life for all citizens, and ultimately for driving economic growth.”
There have been some media reports stating that after a cabinet meeting on Friday, February 2, 2024, the government has decided to cancel the 15% VAT on residential electricity. However, “we are concerned that we have not seen any official statement to that effect, hence, we cannot rely on it. If indeed what we are hearing from a section of the media is true, we expect a formal communication from the Ministry of Finance or the President to that effect.”
“SEND GHANA as a matter of urgency calls on the government to prioritize the welfare of citizens by heeding to the legitimate concerns raised by organized labour and immediately reverse the decision to impose a 15% VAT on electricity. We urge the Ministry of Finance to engage in meaningful dialogue with stakeholders, including workers’ unions, civil society organizations, and the private sector, to explore alternative revenue generation measures that are equitable and do not place an undue burden on vulnerable populations. As an organization committed to advocating for social justice and inclusive development, we will continue to work alongside key stakeholders to champion policies that promote the well-being and prosperity of all Ghanaians.”
By: Publicagenda. news