The Minority in parliament has averred that the Akufo-Addo administration is taxing Ghanaians like the biblical character “Zacchaeus” who was a tax collector by profession.
Contributing to the debate on the 2022 budget on the floor of Parliament, Member of Parliament for Bongo Constituency in the Upper East Region, Honorable Edward Bawa intimated that he had observed that the government was double taxing Ghanaians based on some duplicated taxes already in existence.
He said, for example, that the sanitation and pollution tax was already captured by the District Assemblies Common Fund per the description of the fund.
“If you look at all these various towns, they all fall under a district, a municipal or a metropolitan assembly. Every Assembly is charged 80,000 Ghana Cedis per quarter for fumigation. Every Assembly is charged 40,000 Ghana Cedis for sanitation implementation program which means that all of us already pay for our sanitation. Then government goes ahead to charge us 10 pesewas per litre for what they describe as sanitation and pollution[tax]. This is a tax we can obviously do without” he stated.
To this end, the MP likened President Akufo-Addo’s tax measures to Zacchaeus “the tax collector”.
“Mr Speaker, me I am a Christian and Mr Speaker and I know that we are Catholics and it[taxes] reminds me of the biblical story….you know Luke 19:1-10…about Jesus Christ when he was travelling from Jericho. When he was coming, the was a lot of crowd…everybody was running about. Then luckily enough the was this tax collector by the name Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was known to be a very wealthy man.
“Of course, it is also very true that in terms of height he was a bit challenged. So because of that he run and went into a tree and was on top of the tree to be able to catch a glimpse of Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ knowing very well that this gentleman was a bit challenged in terms of height, told him that he should come down. People started murmuring and started saying why would Jesus Christ be fraternizing with the sinner,” he added
Honourable Edward Bawa continued that “but Jesus Christ finally spoke and said ‘today I was coming to your house. But this is what Zacchaeus said [chapter 8]…but Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘look Lord here and now I give half of my possession to the poor and if I have cheated anybody out of anything I will pay back 4 times the amount’.
We are not for a moment saying that President Akufo-Addo should pay back what he has taken from us in terms of sanitation[tax]. All we are saying is that there should be an immediate cessation of those charges to be able to ensure that Ghanaians have some level of respite”.