Stop exaggerating and read – Ato Forson to Bawumia

deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson, has taken a swipe at the NPP running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, describing him as a desperate politician interested in misinforming Ghanaians.

Mr Forson is, therefore, urging the former deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana to make the effort to research into Ghana’s Income Tax Laws. According to him, Bawumia has consistently distorted facts as a result of sheer ignorance of basic economic and finance concepts.

The Deputy Finance Minister was reacting to a promise by Dr Bawumia that the NPP administration under Nana Akufo-Addo, will immediately abolish taxes on pensions introduced by government.

“The government is imposing taxes on everything conceivable in their desperation for revenue. If not for protest the government imposed taxes on condoms and imposed taxes on cutlasses. Today they are imposing taxes in Pensions and allowances. Anything even if they think they can impose taxes on the air we breathe today, they will do so. …..We are going to scrap them in 2017,” Bawumia told a gathering of students in the Volta region.

However, Forson noted that Bawumia has been misled by media reports that skewed Finance Minister, Seth Terkper’s response to a question about taxes on pensions and allowances.

“I have heard Mahamudu Bawumia, as usual, going round doing his usual ignorant propaganda that a Nana Addo administration will abolish the Pensions Act (2015). Bawumia is clearly exaggerating,” Forson told host of OKAY FM Morning Show, Kwame Etikisie.

“He should rather read the Income Tax Law. I am throwing a challenge to him to show me which part of the act states that pensions are being taxed,” he stressed.

He said the Mahama administration is not heartless to introduce any new tax that will burden the masses and most especially the aged unlike the NPP, which has a track record of imposing taxes that made lives unbearable for ordinary Ghanaians for which reason they were voted out of power in 2008.

“In case Dr Bawumia has forgotten, let me remind him of what they did on December 4, 2008, just three days to the general elections. The NPP whose economic team was led by this same Bawumia who doubled as the running mate to Nana Addo introduced the National Pension’s Act 766 section 112 (5) of 2008 that rather imposed tax on voluntary pensioners who took their accumulated funds before 10 years.

“This was clearly an illegality. And this was in 2008 just three days to general elections. This happened when he was running mate and a member of the NPP’s economic management team. I can state with all the authority I can muster that, an NDC government will not tax pensioners, the President has spoken, and it is final.

“Bawumia says NDC ministers don’t read, he should rather do so by updating himself on the income tax act of 2015,” he emphasized.

He noted that the new Income Tax Laws exempt pensioners because pensions in this country are not taxable. On the allowances of workers, the deputy finance minister said the only thing the new tax seeks to do is to broaden the net and make the whole thing “tax friendlier”, adding that those allowances have already been in existence since year 2000 and all the Finance Ministry is seeking to do is not to tax new allowances because that is not the position of the ministry.

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