A Director of Labour Research and Policy at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called on government to review its six proposed taxes and levies in the 2021 budget.

According to Dr Kwabena Nyarko Otoo, although government needs to raise revenue to implement its projects for the 2021 fiscal year, introduction of new taxes will disrupt the recovery process of private businesses and households.

Government in the 2021 budget statement, introduced some new taxes and levies.

Among them, government introduced a financial sector clean-up levy, sanitation and pollution levy, Covid-19 health levy, and the energy sector recovery levy (Delta Fund).

But the Economist on Joy News’ Newsfile Saturday described government’s new taxes as untimely.

In his view, the introduction of taxes seeks to communicate that households and private businesses have recovered from the impact of the pandemic, which is untrue.

“When firms and households got hit by the pandemic beyond their own, it was right for government to come to their aid and help them recover. Now if you fast-forward to 2021 government says that they are now going to pay tax.

“This then brings the assumption that the households and businesses have recovered, that they are making money and now in the position to contribute in a form of a higher tax and that kind of assumption is wrong,” he told host Samson Lardy Anyenini.

He continued, “Households and businesses are still struggling. So it is not really right to make an assumption that households and businesses have recovered and that the only sector that has not recovered is government and for that matter households should now pay tax to support government.”

Dr Otoo suggested that government must find an innovative way to raise taxes to revive the economy and when everything returns to normalcy, the citizenry can contribute.

“Even if we have to pay tax, we should look at the nature of the tax we have being asked to pay. Essentially petroleum tax which is very regressive which means we are punishing the very poor who are still under the Covid weather we could have looked other tax revenue for taxation.”