The Ashanti regional chairman of the Ghana Union of Traders Association has cautioned the government not to introduce new taxes in the 2024 budget presentation.
Anthony Oppong says the 2024 budget must focus on measures to alleviate the challenges businesses are facing, not the introduction of new taxes.
The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, is scheduled to present the government’s 2024 Annual Budget Statement and Economic Policy to Parliament on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.
The GUTA chair has recommended the government significantly reduce its expenditures to rescue the struggling economy before the presentation.
He told Nyankonton Mu Nsem on Rainbow Radio 87.5 FM that the introduction of new taxes would further worsen the plight of Ghanaians.
He argued that traders would have no option but to pass on the new taxes to Ghanaians.
According to him, traders are not supposed to be bearing the cost of these new taxes.
He also shot down claims that traders were increasing their products and services without any justifiable reasons.
He explained that the cedi depreciation and the exchange rate are the major reasons why there is price instability in the market.
He said traders have sacrificed a lot for Ghanaians despite the challenges, and if they do not maintain a balance, they will be put out of business.
He further opined that the government should roll out stimulus packages for businesses, considering the challenges they have gone through.
“We expect the government to introduce measures to address the challenges facing the economy,” he said. We spoke with officials and hope that our suggestions and recommendations will be taken into consideration.
We do not anticipate the implementation of new levies. If they fail to use and implement additional taxes, we will be forced to pass them on to Ghanaians. Ghanaian traders are not Father Christmas. When additional taxes are imposed, we cannot obtain loans and sell them at a lower price. If we did that, we’d be out of business.”