The Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) has said the government must urgently review nuisance taxes, particularly excise duties on the beverage industry.
A statement from the federation on Monday, 30 October 2023, signed by Secretary-General Abraham Koomson, said this has to be announced in the 2024 budget.
It said: “These burdensome taxes have hindered economic growth, stifled business development, and placed an unfair burden on hardworking Ghanaians and effective operation of industries”.
“It is imperative that the government takes immediate action to alleviate these challenges and foster a more conducive environment for businesses and workers”, the federation stressed.
It noted: “The GFL firmly believes that the review of nuisance taxes and excise duties stated above is an urgent necessity”.
“These taxes, often excessive and unnecessary, have impeded the growth and competitiveness of local businesses, stifling Innovation, investment, and job creation”.
“The burden they impose on businesses is detrimental to their sustainability and ability to contribute to the economic development of Ghana. It is time for the government to acknowledge the adverse effects of these taxes and take decisive action to address them.”
In the federation’s view, “Ghanaian workers have borne the brunt of these taxes, with their disposable income significantly reduced, limiting their ability to meet their basic needs and provide for their families”.
“The reversal of these taxes will not only alleviate the financial strain on workers but also stimulate economic activity by increasing their purchasing power, leading to increased consumer spending and business growth”, the federation added.
The group said the review process must be a consultative one.
“The GFL urges the government to prioritise the review of these nuisance taxes in the 2024 Budget. The Federation demands that this review should be conducted in consultation with stakeholders, including labour unions, businesses, and experts in the field, to ensure that the outcome is fair, equitable, and supportive of sustainable economic growth”.
“The government must seize this opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the welfare of workers and businesses by implementing tax reforms that promote a conducive business environment and enhance the standard of living for all Ghanaians.”
The federation urged Ghanaians to join their clamour, pointing out that “it is essential that we raise our voices collectively to demand a fair and equitable tax system that encourages investment, stimulates economic growth, and improves the lives of our fellow citizens”.
“Together, we can create a Ghana where businesses thrive, workers prosper, and the economy flourishes.”