Taxing the poor will lead to turmoil-Prof. Quartey to gov’t

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Prof. Peter Quartey
Prof. Peter Quartey

Prof. Quartey tells the government: “Taxing the poor will lead to agitation; tax the rich through property rates.”

Professor Peter Quartey, Director of the University of Ghana’s Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research (ISSER), has advised the government to focus on property rate payments as a source of domestic revenue.

 

As a means of taxing the wealthy, he believes the government should increase property rate collection rather than raise rates.

 

Prof. Quartey addressed Alfred Ocansey of TV3 in an interview, “To shore up revenue, I think there are a lot of untapped areas. One has been the issue of property rates, and I keep emphasizing this point.

“If you look at the budget statement of 2022, we are earmarking half a billion cedis to be realized from property rates. Just go through the Bank of Ghana records, go through the banks, look at how many people have borrowed and how much the value of collateral they have used in one year, it will amaze you the value of properties that we have in the country.

Yet, ask yourself what percentage of this property rate that we are realizing? So I believe the low-hanging fruits will be to look at property rates and make sure, we don’t have to increase the rate, whatever rate we have in the system, just apply them and make sure people pay property rate.

“If you tax the rich, that shouldn’t be a problem but where you want to tax the poor that is where it will lead to a lot of agitations. So I think that is one clear area we can raise revenue to bridge the gap and restore confidence in the economy. Investors will have confidence in the economy, rating agencies will have confidence if we are able to raise more revenue.”

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Following Ghanaians’ rejection of the E-levy proposal, he made the following comments.

For instance, according to Professor David Abdulai, Senior Advisor of the Africa Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption, 91 percent of Ghanaians detest the proposed E–levy.

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