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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ghana Needs a Larger Tax Base – Paa Kwasi Ndoum

Dr. Paa Kwasi Nduom, former presidential candidate for the Convention People’s Party (CPP) said the solution for more internal revenue is to broaden the tax net and lower tax rates.

Speaking on GTV’s Talking Point on Sunday night, Mr. Ndoum acknowledged that taxation was very crucial to the growth of the country but insisted that it should not be done to the detriment of the citizenry.

According to him, he had personally gone through the entire 2011 budget and saw no provisions were not made to indicate a broadening of the tax base. Rather the budget introduces new and higher taxes.

The former Economic Planning Minister said there were some informal sector workers who were earning far more income than some of their formal counterparts and it would have been advantageous to the country if the government could rope them in.

He pointed to the National Identification System (NIS) as a good initiative the present government could use to assist in broadening the tax base. He said however that the government has failed to invest any money in that area.

“This (NIS) is one area that should have gotten a lot more serious attention and I’m hoping that maybe even if it wasn’t read, the revenue agencies for example are going to benefit from some significant information technology for the next two years… so that they can reach more people”, he said.

Mr. Ndoum also hinted that the constitutional provision exempting the president from paying taxes was not the ideal situation since according to him, it would have given the president the moral ground to demand the citizenry to pay taxes.

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