A tax expert, Ali Abdullah has expressed grave concerns about government’s introduction of new taxes.
“Economically, if you don’t impose taxes at the time that you should impose, then there will be more challenges than solutions so in as much as we need the resources to pay back or construct our roads and improve facilities, I think the timing is also important,” he said on Radio Ghana’s Behind the News programme on Monday.
He indicated that by way of timing, the population of a country “must be prepared for what is ahead of them.”
According to him, all economies have taxation as its major source of revenue for governments, but he insisted that timing is key.
Government has introduced new taxes as well as increased petroleum prices from between 18 to 27 per cent. Last year, prices of electricity and water went up by 59.2 per cent and 67.2 per cent respectively.
Ghanaians have lashed out at the government for being insensitive to the plight of citizens.
Ali Abdullah is of the view that Ghanaians should begin interrogating the uses of the tax revenue government generates saying, “if you look at the economy, we are faced with budgets being read in November; come January, disbursements start rolling out, the next we will hear will be is another budget reading. In between, where is the accountability processes because what we will get will be the Auditor General’s report to Parliament, Public Account Committee’s report and the question is, what next?”
He complained that even the audit reports that are released are for previous years thereby making it difficult for citizens to effectively track the uses of revenue.
“We should do the monitoring and evaluation on current basis but if we wait to do only audits when the money has been spent and only to uncover that it was not properly spent, we will remain in a cycle.”