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We’ll pass on VAT, NHIS levy increase to consumers—Businesses warn

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Businesses are warning that any increase in VAT and the National Health Insurance Levy (NHIL) during the Mid-Year Budget Review will be passed on to consumers.

According to them, any increase in these taxes will have a rippling effect on goods and services since most items sold on the market have VAT and NHIL on them.

Some reports suggest that the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta may announce an increament in VAT and NHIL.

Speaking to Citi Business News on the issue, the National Welfare Chairman of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), Benjamin Yeboah cautioned that the current state of the country does not warrant a tax increase.

“As businesses, we always look for a conducive environment to do our business. So any tax that is problematic for us needs to be looked at. Imposing taxes is not the way to go when you want to raise revenue. Government needs to widen the tax net to bring in more businesses and persons that are not paying taxes,” he said.

Mr. Yeboah stated that importers were rather expecting government to scrap the 2% Special Import Levy at the ports.

“We want taxes like the 2% Special Import Levy to be reduced or removed. We’ve also heard that there might be an increase in the VAT at the ports. That will be problematic because it will end up being passed on to ordinary Ghanaians in the form of increased prices,” he cautioned.

He stated that government should look for other alternatives to meet its revenue mobilization.

He cited for example that it will be prudent to rather broaden the tax base as against deepening it.

Meanwhile, the Acting Chairman of Abossey-Okai Spare Parts Dealers, Clement Boateng has tasked government to use the budget to announce measures that will stabilize the cedi.

“What I want to hear from the Finance Minister are measures being put in place to check the downward spiral of the Cedi. Because that is a big worry for every person out there. Today the Dollar is being exchanged for  4 cedis 78 pesewas, and about a month ago it was about GHC 4.60 pesewas for a Dollar.”

By: Bobbie Osei/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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