A cross section of Ghanaians hit by the wave of increases in utilities, fuel and transport hikes as well as income tax have burst out with chants of “we are suffering.”
Prior to the Christmas festivities, the Public Utility and Regulatory Commission (PURC) announced a 59 per cent hike in price of water with electricity increasing by 67 per cent.
As if the increases were not enough, the dawn of the New Year came with the announcement of about 30 per cent hike in fuel prices.
The hikes were triggered by the slap in the energy sector levy, a new tax on the petroleum products.
With fuel prices going up, commercial drivers are meeting to announce hikes in transport fares.
All these cumulatively will affect the prices of commodities and the cost of living in the country.
A cross section of Ghanaians said government is strangling them with so much taxes.
“I think it is too much. Christmas season and light is going up; water is going up and petroleum prices are going up. It is too much. The suffering is too much.
“And January we are going to pay school fees as well. It is too much and it is giving us pressure” one of them said.
“If there is an increase in petroleum, government should also increase salaries as well,” another said.
But the salaries are going to be taxed as well with the announcement of the new income tax.
The new income taxes include withholding and corporate income tax which would affect salaried workers as well as other business men.
The withholding tax, an individual is expected to pay one per cent of the interest paid to his account and 20 per cent on fees, allowances paid to board members, trustees and resident directors or managers.
A special ten per cent is being charged on fees paid to lecturers, examiners, invigilators, part time teachers and endorsement fees.
Sales persons, insurance agents, lotto agents, will have commissions taxed by ten per cent taxed as well.
Those who are lucky enough to win a lottery will also have their booty taxed by five per cent.