Nhyiaeso MP, Dr Stephen Amoah

A member of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr Stephen Amoah, has charged the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to suggest practical solutions that can help to mitigate the hardship imposed on Ghanaians as a result of the hike in fuel prices.

“The concentration now is whether we are in the position as a country to scrap taxes from the petroleum product. They [the Minority] have not sat down to think through and give us any good solution or alternative approach,” he said in an interview on Prime Morning, on Tuesday.

According to him, the government’s expenditure usually exceeds the revenue it generates, something he attributed to the “large deficits and debts in our country.”

The Nhyiaeso legislator argued that the Minority’s call for government to abolish taxes would only create long-term and medium-term effects on the average Ghanaian.

“Our debt is also going up; debt to GDP is over 70%. Now they’re asking us not to borrow, they’re asking us to remove taxes. Are they thinking about the cyclical effect?”

“A long-term effect or medium-term effect is rather going to bring back, in more magnitude, the hardship that we want to actually alleviate. So what they are saying, practically, is wrong; it would rather affect Ghanaians,” he told JoyNews‘ Benjamin Akakpo.

The NDC at a press conference held on October 18, 2021 asked the government to ‘immediately’ scrap some ‘unnecessary’ taxes slapped on petroleum products to reduce fuel prices in the country.

“Draconian taxes on petroleum products such as the introduction of 20 pesewas Energy Sector Levy on every litre of diesel and petrol; the increase of 18 pesewas in ESLA per Kilogram of LPG; the introduction of a 10 pesewas sanitation (“borla”) tax on every litre of diesel and petrol; the introduction of a 1% Covid levy on NHIL & VAT, by the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia-NPP government, coupled with the free-fall of the Ghana Cedi which has been occasioned by their gross economic mismanagement, are the major factors responsible for the persistent and steep increase in the prices of fuel products,” National Communications Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi said.

But the former MASLOC boss, Dr Stephen Amoah, begged to differ, saying “our fiscal space is congested.” He posited that the country’s interest payments keep going high due to the accumulated debts by successive governments of both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the NDC.

Meanwhile, the Chief Policy Analyst at Ghana Institute of Public Policy Options, Charles Wereko Brobbey, has asked government to moderate the fuel price crisis by leveraging windfall profits obtained from oil revenue.

“So I think if the Government of Ghana wants to be a caring government, it should ensure that all the extra windfall profits which have come from $54 to $85 are applied to moderate the price increase,” he said in an interview on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show.

Currently, some Oil Marketing Companies (OMC) have increased the prices of fuel by about 10 pesewas. A litre of petrol is currently being sold at about GHC6.90 at most fuel vending stations.

In the midst of the upward adjustments, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) has urged drivers not to increase lorry charges.

Dr Stephen Amoah believes the government should consider cutting down on expenditure on “things that have zero correlation with our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.