Benchmark Value Reversal Callous – NDC to Gov’t

Benchmark Value Reversal Callous – NDC to Gov’t

Story by: Ishmael Barfi

Government of Ghana decision to reverse the benchmark value discounts introduced in 2019 has been described as callous and  insensitive with regards to the already hardships Ghanaians are going through under the Akuffo-Addo led government.

According to the main opposition party in the country, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), this decision will further exacerbate the suffering of Ghanaians.

Addressing the press at its party headquarters in Accra on Wednesday, January 5, 2021, the NDC expressed it’s displeasure and disapproval of government’s decision explaining that, this is an attempt by the government to make up for its mismanagement of the economy.

Speaking at the press conference, the party National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi criticised the government for such reckless decision pointing out that, this reckless decision would go a long way to worsen the already burdened Ghanaians.

Therefore Mr Gyamfi bemoaned the resort to taxation by government to climb out of the country’s precarious financial situation, when other measures like expenditure cuts could help address the imbalance.

“This terrible decision comes at a time when the national currency is depreciating and world commodity prices are increasing at an alarming rate, with freight charges and port handling charges being extremely high”.

“More importantly, the callous decision by government to reverse benchmark value discounts comes at a time Ghanaian businesses, startups, parents and households are reeling under a yoke of excessive taxation, persistent increases in fuel prices and high cost of living never before witnessed in the annals of our country.”

“Furthermore, the reversal of benchmark value discounts on selected imported goods reinforces
our long-held view that this Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government is an insensitive and callous
administration which does not have the wellbeing of the Ghanaian people at heart.

“These are the very people who promised, among other things, to move this country from taxation to production, but have yet again pulled another deception on Ghanaians relative to import duty and Port charges”.

“Never has a government been this cunning and untruthful to the people in our history as a country.”

He further rejected the notion that COVID-19 was responsible for the present economic downturn, which government has argued necessitated the raft of taxes introduced in the 2021 and 2022 budgets.

He said COVID-19 had rather offered an opportunity for Ghana to receive unprecedented financial support from international donor agencies including the IMF and World Bank, as well as Central Bank support running into over GH¢20 billion.

These, he said were more than adequate to compensate for any shocks to the economy during the pandemic, and wondered how government could still blame COVID-19 for the poor state of the economy.

The financial challenges of the country according to the NDC National Communications Officer is as a result of “reckless election related expenditure” and called on government to refrain from over-reliance on taxation, which was imposing severe hardships on Ghanaians.

“We wish to make the point, that this catastrophic decision has been occasioned by the self-inflicted economic malaise we presently find ourselves in, with our economy in tatters and government simply unable to find money to do anything”, he stressed.

After five (5) years of economic mismanagement and reckless election-driven spending, which have taken the country back to its HIPC days, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government has decided to punish the already-burdened Ghanaian people with more hardships for their own recklessness and mismanagement,” Sammy Gyamfi said.

Mr. Sammy Gyamfi used the occasion to call on all Ghanaians to rally efforts to kick against the reversal of the benchmark value discounts.

Source: www.thenewindependentonline.com

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