I am not an economic messiah neither am I a political genius or leader, what I am is that I am learned, blessed with a discerning mind and a patriotic citizen to the best of my abilities. Now that I am done highlighting my strengths and weakness, off to the reason why I sought your attention.
Taxes are important for Nation building but not the only way. Reason I chose to write on taxes is because it is a major reason for the the hardship Ghanaians are going through and the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy Document seeks to add to the burdens of the nearly broken with the introduction of new taxes, chief amongst them being the much talked about e-levy
Our leaders have adopted a lazy approach when it comes to raising revenue to support Government expenditure. They continue to impose newer taxes on consumer products rather than discovering new avenues to tax. Instead of increasing the tax net, they are rather tightening the tax net, deny the few in the net any room for comfort, but that is not the way to go.
For a little as ourselves, with a considerably little population of little over 32 million people, we are so blessed with natural resources. I do not know of a natural resource we do not have. Is it gold? For your information there is a reason we were called the gold coast before we adopted the name Ghana. Is it cocoa, timber, oil, gas, what is it? Name it and I will show you where you can find it in this beautiful country
Our problem is bourne out of our inability or reluctance to process these raw materials to get the maximum monetary value for them. We have been growing cocoa for years, we boast of COCOBOD, a multi-billion dollar institution which regulates cocoa production and prices in the country and till date we still export raw beans outside.
Same can be said for all the other natural resources I boasted about in the earlier paragraphs. Our reluctance to process these raw materials for only God knows why is denying our country billions of dollars in foreign exchange. This is an avenue Government should be looking to for revenue mobilisation but no one seems to be talking about it, always tax upon tax and yet we keep shortchanging ourselves.
I was following the news quite recently when a Government official was lamenting the fact that less than a million Ghanaians pay income tax. It is a shame, but I am also reliable informed that Government does not employ up 800,000 Ghanaians. A shocker!
Many Ghanaians are in the formal sector and Government lacks the ingenuity to rope this group of people into the tax net or it is just plain lazy, that not withstanding, for all the resources we are blessed with, it is unfathomable that we still rely largely on the contributions of citizens before we can spend