Informantion reaching myafricatoday.com indicates that former President John Dramani Mahama and Mr Hassan Ayariga have declared their readiness to join the Coalition of Economic Association of Ghana in the upcoming Kum Yen Preko demonstration being championed by the Coalition for Social Justice (CSJ).
The group which comprises other groups and associations such as the Concern Drivers Association of Ghana, Ghana Committed Drivers Association, True Drivers Union, Concerned Spare Parts Dealers Association of Ghana and the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers Ghana (COPEC), announced at a press conference addressed by its Secretary, Clifford Ansu in Accra, that their decision to join the demonstration was occasioned by the refusal of the Akufo-Addo government to scrap the Luxury Vehicle Levy.
The group noted that since the President assented to the Act 969, the law establishing the Luxury Vehicle Levy on 31st July, 2018, which implementation began officially on 1st August, 2018, they have made several efforts to get the government to address their grievances, including petitions to the Office of the Chief of Staff at the Presidency, the Speaker of Parliament, the Ministries of Transport and Finance, as well as the Parliamentary Committees on Finance, Roads and Transport, all to no avail.
The group contends that the lukewarm attitude of the government towards scrapping the levy was suffocating their car dealing business, and having a negative rippling effect on the economy as a whole.
It noted that aside an assurance by government through the Finance Ministry to address their concerns, nothing has been done or said to them, hence their conclusion that government does not care about their predicament.
As to the specifics of their grievances, the group submitted, that as per Section 1 of the act, an annual levy which is known as “Luxury Vehicle Levy” is imposed on vehicles with engine capacities ranging from 2.9, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0 and upwards.
According to the schedule, an Engine capacity ranging between 2950CC – 3550CC attracts a charge of GH¢1,000.00, an Engine of between 3550CC – 4049CC is charged GH¢1,500.00, while that which ranges from 4050CC and above attracts a charge of GH¢2,000.00.
The Group further posits that, classifying some brands of vehicles such as Toyota Avalon, Articulator Truck, Toilet Vehicles, Refuse Trucks, Nissan Hard Body Pick up, Kia Rhino Truck and others as “Luxury Vehicles” merely on the basis of their cubic capacities was erroneous on the part of government because such vehicles are mainly used for everyday economic activity and not for luxury.
As such, these vehicles cannot be compared to luxury vehicles such as Rolls Royce, Bentley, Land Cruiser V8, Mercedes Benz C300, Benz S430, or Lamborghini, because these kinds of vehicles are luxurious in both nature and style.
The Group further asserted that government could make a lot of revenue from importation of so-called luxury vehicles without necessarily imposing such a regressive levy which only adds to the numerous levies burdening the transport sector.
The group said Ghana currently imports about a Hundred and Fifty Thousand (150,000) vehicles annually, 25% of which fall within the category of these so-called luxury cars. With an average duty payable of GH¢80,000 and above, the group argues that government currently makes between GH¢S3 billion and GH¢18 billion annually as import duties from this vehicle category.
They also lamented the lack of broad stakeholder consultation by the Akufo-Addo government in imposing this levy which has several negative implications for the entire transport sector. This situation, according to them had resulted in low patronage for spare parts dealers, while car owners also refuse to fix their broken Engines due to the cost involved.
The Group therefore served notice that they have interrogated the objects of the “Kum Yen Preko” demonstration, and come to the conclusion that their grievances align with the objectives of the organizers.
They have therefore resolved to join the Coalition for Social Justice, and other well-meaning Ghanaians on the streets of Accra on 9th July, 2019 to demonstrate against the recalcitrance of the Akufo-Addo government.
Meanwhile, former President John Dramani Mahama has indicated his commitment to completely scrap the taxes imposed by the current government on the luxurious vehicles if given the nod to rule this country in the second term.
- Source: Freeman KORYEKPOR AWLESU