The introduction of the fiscal policy by MoF to charge 35% tax on income bracket above Ghs10,000 which seemed harmless and far fetched have begun to take a sudden tow on none other persons in the country than our honourable legislators in Parliament.
MP for Kumbugu, Ras Mubarak has expressed misgivings about the situation which has seen MPs disposable incomes of around Ghs11,000 fall to Ghs9,000. He has described this as an attack and an assault on their disposable income. This difference of Ghs2,000 he has said can do alot in their rural constituencies.
Today being the end of the month August 31, 2018 is a reality check on the legislators as some of them have begun to receive bank alerts on their mobile phones as salaries are credited to their account. What could be more painful than knowing that last month you were taken home Ghs11,000 but because of the introduction of the high net worth income tax you would now have to take home Gh9,000? How do you explain this to your wife and children if they don’t have an understanding of tax issues? They will probably think you have given that portion to your girlfriend.
I believe by now the President and all the Ministers of State have also started receiving their various bank alerts to notify them of their further decrease in their net salaries due to the 35% income tax introduced which I think all of them earn above the range of Ghs10,000.
Will the President and his government machinery regret introducing such a measure that has obviously affected they themselves directly? Did the MPs not do their own calculations on their respective salaries before signing the Act into being? Well, I doubt if the President himself will so much be affected since he is a wealthy man and donating even to charitable courses in this country from what I have heard and read. I have just being notified by a colleague that the President of Ghana is tax exempt. This leaves the MPs and other government machinery in this tax boat alone. Honestly, I want to quiz why is the President of Ghana exempted from taxes?
Anyway, but for the MPs, I have little to say, considering how people in their own constituencies have being queuing at their homes and offices for alms and support, will this reduction in their salaries be in their favour? I am sure they are beginning to feel the pinch of what the ordinary Ghanaians have being feeling all the time from the various Acts that they pass at Parliament. May be they will fall on the MPs common fund to cushion themselves if that is even the purpose of the fund.
My advice to the MPs is that they should be citizens and not spectators, they should endure the tax burden as the revenues to be raised is going to be used in the development of the country. The difference of Ghs2,000 which they claim can be used for rural development in their constituencies, the government has decided to do that on their behalf collectively so it is virtually the same thing.
What these MPs should be doing now is to seek accountability for the judicious use of these additional tax revenues to be generated by government for national development.
The ordinary Ghanaian should not sigh relief or see this as a “revenge” tax on the MPs and government machinery but rather a demonstration of the patriotism of our national gallant heroes of development who have sacrificed a portion of their salaries for national development.
In that doing, indeed H.E Akuffo Addo has once again displayed his commitment to national development by making sure that everyone contributes his quota one way or the other including MPs. I know the Finance Minister and the President knew that they will all be affected but for the sake of Ghana they had to introduce it. Just that I am now learning the President is exempted from taxes.
Anyway, for those in the private sector you should also take a cue from this that if the MPs of this country have suffered part of their salaries for national development then you should also follow suit. Tax evasion by the private sector should be a thing of the past. The right amount of taxable income must be declared and the appropriate taxes charged. There are a chunk of professionals in the private sector who earn far above the MPs so should not understate their earnings just to evade taxes.
The GRA tax officials should also be on their toes to ensure that the appropriate taxes are computed on people’s taxable incomes and not just accept any tax returns brought to them but should compare with previous month returns and ensure that there are no understatement of people’s salaries just to evade taxes.
MoF must also ensure that this incomes that workers are painfully parting away with by way of taxes don’t end up in the pockets of corrupt government officials instead of using it for national development.
The Judiciary should not spare anyone caught and brought to court for being corrupt over public funds. Justice must prevail for Ghana to have it’s total development at last.
To the ordinary Ghanaian do not destroy or misuse public property because this what people go through in order for the government to raise revenue for infrastructural and economic development.