RE: NDC Government Stopped Thinking Long Ago - Pratt
It is interesting read how some of the comments made by political analysts and commentators are actually presented. Although, I plan to go into politics in the future, I should say that at present, I do not have political affiliation to any party in Ghana. Kwaku Baako Jnr and Kwesi Pratt, as well as a few others must be commended for the job they are doing in Ghana. Their critical evaluative analysis of ruling governments seem to draw awareness and serve as checks on activities by ruling governments and ensure that policies which were presented in their electoral manifestos, "upon which they were elected into power", are achieved. However, sometimes one can't help but to sympathise with ruling governments when they put up fuel prices. You see the fundamental elements needed to catapult Ghana's economic development are in most cases non-existent and if they exist, their implementation and operation are not strictly monitored. Ghana is a country where the taxation system on income is virtually non-existent apart from a few areas of public services. But employment in the public sector contributes to only a minimal percentage of the total employment. Further, most public sector employees are on low income contributing the barest minimum to income tax. Those in the private sectors, who are mostly highly educated have become expects in tax avoidance and evasion. Bank bosses declare huge chunks of their salaries as bonuses which are paid out to them separately. No I am not talking about HBOS, Lloyds or Natwest. I am talking about banks and bankers in Ghana. This is a tip of the iceberg though. One can go on to mention other private sectors and self-employers. If the AMA and many other countless agencies force the KAYAYEI and iced-water sellers around Makola market to buy tickets in order to trade for the day, then there should be no reason why the “bigger fishes” must not be made to pay appropriate tax rates in relations to their actual incomes. But how can this be realised if fundamental elements such as national taxation or insurance numbers for individuals for income tax contributions are non-existent. Until some sort national agenda is drawn, projects on which will bind future governments until the completion of its execution, to include the gradual introduction of some of these fundamental elements, ruling governments will have very limited options than to put up the price of fuel to generate revenue. Everyone uses fuel either directly or indirectly and therefore makes increment in fuel prices a simplest way for government to generate revenue. Further to the above issue, it must be said that a good majority of Ghanaians do not understand the voting into power of a political party based on electoral manifesto policies. A significant minority are influenced by money to vote, whilst a good majority vote on the grounds of tribal connections. Hence, when people go out to demonstrate against ruling government, I sometimes really doubt if they reasonably have a clue as to what or why exactly they are protesting against. The majority never understood or took noticeable or carefully considered policies of the parties during elections in the first place. Ghanaians should not be under any illusion that the drilling of Oil in the country is going to end increments in fuel prices any soon. Until essential elements such as that mentioned above have been put in place to generate revenue from other taxes, ruling governments will have no choice but to raise revenue from taxes on fuel or to put up price to minimise the its expenditure in subsidy on fuel, either of which will result in fuel price increase. Therefore, Kwasi Pratt’s point is well made. However, the question is does the ruling government has any other options open to it in relation to the macro “picture”? Well think about it. Please note that I wrote this piece purely as a reflection and hold no political affiliation to any political party. I am sometimes concerned that many essential national issues are made political. I was born in 1980 and completed Mfantsipim School. Lately, I have become particularly aware of the fact that the administration of Ghana would fall on us, my generation, to manage by the turn of the next decade. I do not a strong believer in Economic Determinism but in the case of Ghana, it may just be true.
Source: Prince Anim Baabu (BA, LLM) London email@example.com
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