The Minority Leader, Dr Casiel Ato Forson has asserted that the Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia as the chairman of the economic management team, has the power to withdraw any existing tax if he so wishes to do so without any stress whatsoever.
According to him, the man who chairs the deliberations on all matters related to economic policies in his office and “in fact, he is also a member of President Akufo Addo’s cabinet, the second in command of President Akufo Addo’s cabinet,” has no excuse when it comes withdrawal of some taxes he deemed not good enough.
Speaking to Journalists in Parliament in response to some of the issues raised by the vice regarding the decision to remove the E-Elevy, Emission Tax and co at programme held in Accra on 7th February to outline his visions for the country when given the opportunity come December 7, 2024, Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, he highlighted that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) currently oppose recently passed taxes, “we have opposed them in Parliament, and we opposed them in public as well”.
He explained that all of these economic policies that President Akufo Addo has implemented since 2017 were actually supervised by the vice president, and this should be noted. He mentioned that Dr Bawumia’s position has further strengthened because he is now the flagbearer and the leader of the governing NPP, in fact, the governing party of the Republic of Ghana.
“So if he means well, he has whatever it takes to bring a bill to Parliament to get these taxes removed now. What we are asking him to do is simple.”
Dr. Ato Forson said that “the NDC currently opposes all these taxes he has talked about, and in fact, we have opposed them here in Parliament and in public. Our flagbearer, his Excellency, President Mahama, has made a public pronouncement that, when given the power, he will remove it. He is only copying, and aside from copying him, I want to urge him and the people of Ghana that the only reason why these taxes are still effective is because the NDC is not in office.”
He stated that, now that the NPP is in office and the Vice President is indeed the chairman of the economic management team, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, the second in command in Akufo Addo’s administration, and also the leader of the NPP, he has whatever it takes to bring the bill to Parliament.
“To address this, these bills were first presented to this house when he was sitting here. He came to Parliament with the Minister responsible for finance to impose the levy, so he can’t turn around and come back to tell all of us that he is not part of it”.
“The general secretary of the NPP sits in the cabinet. He left the cabinet and informed the people of Ghana that the Vice President approved the E levy and voted for the E-levy,” He mentioned.
He also explained that the minister responsible for information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, is a member of the cabinet and said that the bill was prepared by the Vice President. So for him to prepare one bill, ask Parliament, whip all the members of parliament to vote for it, and then turn around to say that they should remove the tax is very disgraceful and shameful.
“So, in fact, I want to add that this shows that he has no credibility. So for him to all of a sudden say that the economic management team is only advisory, what about his position as the second in command in the cabinet?” He added.