Date: May 30, 2011, 3:32 pm


TAX JUSTICE NETWORK GHANA SENDS OUT A COMMUNIQUE TO THE GOVERNEMENT OF GHANA


We, the undersigned representatives of civil society organizations, individuals and partners having participated in the Tax Justice strategic review session coordinated by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC), Ghana;

 

Having researched, debated and followed the issues of national development and taxation;

                                                                                        

Having listened to presentations on issues of national and international tax practices and having discussed the implications of the recommendations from resource persons and the membership of the Tax Justice Network, Ghana, on national development;

 

Having reviewed the strategic position of the Tax Justice Network, Ghana in the wider context of national development and citizens’ representation;

 

Having recognised and acknowledged that the Ghana tax system focuses more on indirect tax systems which are regressive in nature; 

 

Applauding the government’s commitment to tax reforms;

 

Recognising that such reforms are important for the sustainable financing of Ghana’s development with greater citizens’ responsibility and representation;

 

Realising that key to these reforms that seek to meet the aspirations of Ghanaians, are the principles of transparency, accountability and the democratic participation of citizens in decisions and choices that are made in respect of national policies;

 

Recognising that democratic governance is undermined when a state relies unduly on donor support;

 

Further realising that Ghana has high potential to increase its domestic revenue with a little more effort;

 

Declare as follows, that:

  1. The government continues to strengthen tax policies and administration to avoid the loss of revenues to the state.
  2.  That government strengthens the capacity of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) to monitor and collect all resource rents, particularly petroleum and mining revenues.
  3. The government takes steps to ensure tax compliance by building credibility enforced by the evidential use of tax revenues for the benefit of Ghanaians.
  4. The Government makes a concerted effort to educate the general Ghanaian public on their tax obligations linked to the right to essential services financed by tax revenue.
  5. Government reviews all mining and petroleum contracts with or without stability clauses as is the case in Tanzania, Zambia and other countries worldwide to increase government equity or revenue and redirect investment.
  6. Government grows and diversifies the national economy through value addition to primary products from which revenues can be raised for national development.
  7. Punitive actions for tax malfeasance should be made deterrent enough to reduce the incidence for tax evasion.
  8. Government becomes more circumspect in entering into Double Taxation Agreements (DTA).
  9. Government supports the call for Country-by-Country reporting and publication of information on contracts and agreements
  10. Government encourages a closer collaboration between Revenue Collecting Agencies and the Bank of Ghana to help deal with tax evasion and tax avoidance issues.
  11. Tax exemptions and concessions are properly reviewed to ascertain their benefit to the wider Ghanaian society.
  12. Government ensures a progressive increase in Ghana’s tax-to-GDP ratio as a way of strengthening the social contract between government and citizens.


We, the Tax Justice Network, Ghana endorse these recommendations and observations, convinced that it is only through effective coordination and continuous vigilance of Ghanaians on taxes paid in pursuance of our rights as citizens to participate in the governance of our country, as enshrined in the Constitution of Ghana, that tax and other revenues is used for sustainable national development.

 

Even though we commend governments’ efforts in recent times to rationalise the revenue agencies and the tax reform initiatives as spelt out in the 2011 budget, the absence of a long-term national development strategy with broad consensus on spending priorities will continue to encourage wrong investment decisions and mismanagement of tax revenues with serious negative implications for the economy.

 

We, the Tax Justice Network, Ghana make this declaration on this day of 24th May 2011. 

 

Contact persons: Mr. Bishop Aklogo                        – 0243329320

                             Mr. Vitus Azeem                          - 0244233512

 

 

 

NAMES OF INSTITUTIONS

1.

Centre for Sustainable Development

2.

Centre for Social Impact Studies

3.

Christian Aid

4.

Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas

5.

Empowerment Centre for Women and Children

6.

Ghana Association of Women in Enterprise

7.

Ghana Integrity Initiative

8.

Integrated Social Development Centre

9.

Jesus is Lord Missionary NGO

10.

Nafana Literacy Programme

11.

Publish What You Pay-Ghana

12.

Resource Link Foundation

13.

Strategic Social Development Foundation

14.

Tax Justice Network-Africa

15.

Wacam

16.

Bureau of Integrated Rural Development-KNUST

NAMES OF INDIVIDUALS

1.

Abdul-Rahim Mohammed

2.

Alfred Fosu Donkor

3.

Alvin Mosioma

4.

Aminata Ibrahim

5.

Benjamin Bampoe (Rev. Minister)

6.

Benjamin Ofori

7.

Bernard Anaba

8.

Bishop Akolgo

9.

Bismark Kusi Appiah

10.

Cecilia Osei Fofie

11.

Christopher Dapaah

12.

Clement Asiedu Menlah

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