A Professor at the University of Ghana Business School, Godfred Bokpin, has supported calls by businesses to the government to reduce taxes in the 2024 budget statement.
He believes that the current tax regime cripples businesses.
He explained that a private sector-led economy should not have the kind of taxes the government has induced especially at the ports.
Asked whether he supports calls to reduce taxes, while speaking in an interview with Johnnie Hughes on the Sunrise show on 3FM on Thursday, November 2, Prof Bokpin said “I agree 100 percent. What Ghana is practicing is not taxation, it is robbery. What Ghana is presiding over right now is not taxation, it is not borne out of tax policy. State-sponsored robbery is what we have in the form of taxes. Where will you find the kind of taxes we have? Go to the ports and see the layers of taxes, how do you do that and expert your private sector to grow and create jobs?
“We will be unique to think that by presiding over this fiscal regime, tax, and the rest of them, some way somehow, private sector-led economic transformation and inclusive productivity growth will just happen, no.”
Earlier, the Food and Beverages Association said that it was of the firm belief that the gains that Ghana’s economy was recording could be sustained for long-term growth and development if the private sector was relieved of some of the burdensome taxes either in the form of corporate tax, consumption taxes, or income tax.
The association explained that when businesses are overtaxed, they have nothing left to invest in to research and development for business expansion.
When businesses fail to operate at their optimum level, it added, they are unable to enjoy the benefits of economies of mass-scale production.
It is recalled that the Chief of Mission of the Fund, Stéphane Roudet, recently confirmed that Ghana’s economic recovery was turning out to exceed expectations.
“What we are seeing in terms of growth dynamics is better than what we were anticipating,” Mr Roudet said on Friday, October 6.
“I think this is very good news,” he added.
In a statement reacting to these gains, the Food and Beverages Association said “China is doing much better due to the benefits of mass scale production their private sector is enjoying.
“Higher taxes is a major killer of businesses. Ghana has tried the option of higher taxes for decades and yet our economy keeps failing, it is time to try the option of tax net expansion, with lower taxes and scrapping unfriendly levies and duties, and business-friendly taxes in the 2024 fiscal year.
“Smuggling of goods such as rice, sugar and general fast moving consumer goods is becoming attractive due to the over taxation of the formal sector. Together, we can!!! Let’s say no to higher taxes and over-taxation of the productive sectors of our economy.”
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, will present the government’s 2024 Annual Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament on November 15, 2023.
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, made this announcement in Parliament in Accra on Tuesday.
“A few days from now, we will be hosting the Minister of Finance to present the budget statement for the 2024 financial year. We are proposing that it be done on the 15th of November. Please kindly take note of the date,” he stated.