THE Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) has appealed to Parliament not to approve 20 per cent excise tax on sweetened fruit drinks and water as that will be inimical to the growth of the economy.
It said apart from undermining job creation and denying the state of required revenue, the passage of the proposed tax would go a long way to worsen growth and development in the private sector and the country as a whole.
“The private sector is overburdened and yet to recover from the ravages of COVID-19 and global economic decline.
We would rather recommend to the government to broaden the tax base and net and ensure that a large chunk of people not covered by VAT and corporate tax are drawn into the net,” a statement from the federation stated.
Signed by the Secretary General of the GFL, Abraham Koomson, on behalf of organised labour and copied to the Ghana News Agency, the statement said the survival of the local industry was already threatened by the increased cost of production and the dwindling purchasing power of consumers.
It said if the taxes are imposed, most industry players would be compelled to relocate to neighbouring countries that were offering better and enabling environments for business to flourish.
Debate on draft of the Excise Duty Amendment Bill, 2022 was expected in Parliament from yesterday.
According to the framers, it seeks to amend Excise Duty Act 2014 (Act 878) to revise the Excise tax rates for a number of products including all sweetened drinks and processed fruit juice which hitherto did not attract Excise duty.
The GFL said already, Value Added Tax had gone up by 2.5 per cent alongside the Bank of Ghana’s recent policy thereby suffocating manufacturing companies in the country.
“While organised labour is expecting well-crafted policies to protect local Industries, the government has slapped an astronomical 30 per cent increment in electricity tariffs and about 50 per cent on water for industry effective February 1, 2023.— GNA