It is heart warming that the government has decided to take a critical look at the Luxury Vehicle Tax (LVT) (Act 969), in its mid-year budget review, scheduled for next month, to bring to an end issues arising as a result of enforcement of the law.
This is a demonstration of the government’s readiness to listen to grievances of stakeholders of the economy, particularly the Coalition of Economic Association of Ghana (CEAG).
Under the LVT regime, every year, owners of vehicles with engine capacity of 3.0-3.5 litres, are expected to pay GHc 1,000.00, those with engine capacity of 3.6 to 4.1 litres, GHc 1,500.00, and 4.1 litres and above, GHc 2,000.00.
The CEAG, comprising Concerned Drivers Association, Ghana Committed Drivers Association, True Drivers Union, Concerned Spare Parts Association of Ghana, Chamber of Petroleum Consumers-Ghana, and Vehicle and Asset Dealers Association of Ghana, have for some time now expressed their dissatisfaction with the law.
It is, therefore, not surprising that on June, 26, 2019, the CEAG, at a press conference in Accra, served notice that members had planned a demonstration against the law, on July 9, 2019.
The group said its intention to hit the streets of Accra, with a demonstration, dubbed “Kum Ye Preko”, is to send an unequivocal signal to the authorities that the tax regime is ‘killing’ their businesses.
But, it is reassuring that the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, at a press conference in Accra, last Friday, said the issue of the LVT would be reviewed in the mid-year budget.
Ostensibly, the minister seeks to assure CEAG that, it’s concerns are welcome in good faith, and would reflect in the fiscal policy of the government in the mid-year budget review.
The Ghanaian Times urges the CEAG to have faith in the government as it takes measures to address members concerns.
We believe this has opened another avenue for the group to continue its dialogue with government, to resolve the matter in a win-win manner.
It is our hope that the CEAG will tone down on its impending demonstration, but not with prejudice to the constitutional right of members to take part in a peaceful demonstration.
Ghanaian Times is particularly worried about the threat by the CEAG to assemble all vehicles on the roads or streets, to press home their demand.
Such warning if carried out, would compound the already heavy traffic on the roads in Accra, and might cause chaotic situation.
While sympathising with the CEAG, we ask its members and other vehicle owners, who are affected by the LVT, to see the wisdom in the imposition of the tax in view of the country’s international obligation to help fight climate change.
The government has explained that the enactment of the LVT, forms part of measures to control the use of vehicles with such engine capacities, in order to reduce their effects on climate, and fuel consumption in the country.
We are reminded that, Ghana has the obligation to help protect the planet for future generations, under the Sustainability Development Goals that the country signed on to, as part of its responsibilities as members of the United Nations (UN).
Significantly, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, co-chairs a committee of eminent personalities set up by the UN Secretary General to raise global awareness and mobilise support for the attainment of the goals of the SDGs, which includes protecting the climate.
As a country that co-chairs SDGs committee, we must show leadership by example.
Definitely, marrying such international duty with the concerns of the CEAG and other stakeholders of the country’s economy would not be an easy task.
This is why we appeal to CEAG to continue to ride on the back of the government’s promise to tackle issues emanating from the LVT, to ensure industrial harmony.