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2017 Budget Government accused of interfering in local governance by scrapping 'kayayie' tax

Local authorities charge the vulnerable head porters aka 'Kayayie' between 50 pesewas and 1 cedi as a market levy.

  • Published:
  play Ken Ofori Atta, Finance Minister

The Deputy Minority Leader James Avedzi has accused the Akufo-Addo administration of undermining the authority of the  local assemblies following the scrapping of the 'kayayie' tax.

Local authorities charge the vulnerable head porters aka 'Kayayie' between 50 pesewas and 1 cedi as a market levy.

On Thursday, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta announced that local authorities should stop collecting the levy.

READ  MORE: All you need to know about Ghana's 2017 Budget

But in a swift response, the ex-chairman of the Finance Committee of parliament said “by this act, it means that whatever is done at the district level. We can use the power of parliament to quash it. Are we decentralising the power to the people or we are re-centralizing the power?”

In an interview with Accra-based Citi FM, Mr Avedzi added that the decision to charge 'kayayie' levy is a resolution of the various assemblies.

According to him, the best way was for the assemblies to pass a resolution to quash the levy and not the central government.

“This is a resolution of the local government, a resolution of the AMA or the KMA. It is for them to go back and reverse it. If you want them to reverse it, go and tell them that, go and do your resolution and remove it. Don’t go and do a public announcement in Parliament saying you have abolished the tax,” Mr. Avedzi stressed.

But the MP for Obuasi West who is heading to the Finance Ministry as Mr Ofori-Atta's deputy said claims that assemblies can charge levies and the central government cannot do anything about it is false.

“The suggestion that the local assemblies can make any decision and charge levies and central government is helpless in the context of the current legal arrangement is false,” he said.

READ MORE: Gov’t must extend tax relief to other porters - Terkper

He added: “Government has a responsibility to look at the circumstances of every section of society and make specific directives in respect of their welfare.

"We are not saying that nobody should pay these levies. In respect of a particular kind of business, we are saying that they should not.”

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