A recent Afrobarometer survey has revealed that the majority of the populace is willing to pay their taxes despite recent additions.

The report made available by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) indicated that “72 per cent of Ghanaians are willing to pay more in taxes to help finance the country’s development from domestic resources rather than through external loans.”

During the 2021 budget statement presented by then Finance Minister caretaker Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, government introduced new taxes, including a 1% Covid-19 levy added to the VAT and a 1% addition to the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) among others.

The decision by government was opposed by the Minority in Parliament stating that the timing and imposition of these taxes will have dire effects on the economic and social welfare of Ghanaians.

But according to the Afrobarometer report, 18 per cent of Ghanaians preferred government to consider external sourcing to finance the country’s development while 10 per cent did not agree with the imposition of new taxes or going for external loans.

The report further indicates that 82 per cent of citizens are of the view that government has the right to collect taxes only if it improves basic health systems in the country.

For some 81 per cent and 82 per cent of Ghanaians, the government can demand payment of taxes if it addresses educational needs and also provides water and sanitation services respectively.

Eighty-three per cent of citizens who partook in the survey say if government embarks on maintenance of roads and bridges, it has the right to collect taxes.

“The analysis finds that citizens are more supportive of taxation if they believe the government is doing a good job of delivering basic services,” it stated.

Meanwhile, the survey reports that “majority of citizens say it is difficult to find out what taxes and fees they are
supposed to pay and how the government uses tax revenues.”

Some 61 per cent of Ghanaians stated that they have difficulty in finding out what taxes they are supposed to pay while 70 per cent indicated that they are unaware of how government utilises taxes collected.