The Trades Union Congress (TUC), has called for a “radical review” of Ghana’s trade policies which in its view are “unfair “ to local manufacturers and farmers.
The Finance Minister in the 2018 budget and policy statement announced a number of tax reformsincluding the implementation of a tax threshold to protect workers on minimum wage and tax holiday for young entrepreneurs.
The TUC, in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Dr. Yaw Baah, indicated that though government’s decision to remove taxes as captured in the budget is commendable, its trade policies do not favour particularly manufacturers and farmers.
“We have taken note of the several other initiatives announced by the Minister in the Budget Statement including the removal/reduction of taxes as well as the proposed reduction of energy tariffs intended to create the enabling environment for the expansion of private sector development. These are commendable measures. But one important area that needs urgent attention is our trade policy which remains unfair to local manufacturers and farmers.”
Several stakeholders in the Trade Industry have for sometime now been expressing concerns over what they refer to as a high tax regime.
In February 2016, the Ghana Union of Traders Association, (GUTA), directed all its members to raise red flags at their shops in support of protests to demand a reduction in taxes.
In that same year, a number of business operators including unions like GUTA, Importers and Exporters Association of Ghana, Food and Beverage Importers Association of Ghana, Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Customs Brokers Association of Ghana among others, declared a three day strike over the introduction of the supposed high taxes.
The statement by the TUC also emphasized the need for Ghana to work with other countries in the ECOWAS region to secure the sub regional market for the private sector.
TUC commends gov’t’s NBC initiative for jobless graduates
Meanwhile the Trades Union Congress (TUC), has commended government’s special initiative targeted at jobless tertiary graduates in the country.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, while presenting the 2018 Budget and Policy statement on Wednesday, indicated that about 100,000 tertiary graduates will be employed under the initiative called the Nation Builders Corps (NBC).
The TUC, in its statement signed by its General Secretary , Dr. Yaw Baah, described the move as a “bold initiative” adding that it is “perhaps the most ambitious jobs programme designed to address what has become the most critical economic challenge of the country.”
“Providing jobs for 100,000 graduates in the sectors outlined in the budget will significantly improve public service delivery. It will also signal to young people who have invested so much time and money in their education that education pays. The benefits will far exceed the cost of the programme,” he added.