Member of Parliament (MP) for Bantama Constituency in the Ashanti Region and a Member of Finance Committee in Parliament, Mr Daniel Okyem Aboagye aka Wofa Atta has admitted the ‘luxury tax’ government is charging car owners is overly expensive saying the lawmakers themselves cried whiles passing it into law.
“Whiles we the parliamentarians were passing this law, we were crying as well”, he confessed on live radio.
Mr Okyem Aboagye’s comments are reaction to public outcry about the huge amount that has been slapped on vehicle owners who are now paying more because of the new tax which was implemented under the current administration.
Both car dealers and users seem to have been heavily hit by the tax this year as they embarked on a demonstration last week to register their displeasure about the tax which is in force.
The leadership of the demonstrators want the strangulating tax scrapped indicating that it is too expensive and they may not be able to pay.
But the lawmaker who sided with concerns raised said “most of us were affected because we drive V6, V8 and other luxurious cars which have higher engine capacities. Most people who drive in luxurious cars are parliamentarians. But for the benefit of Ghana, we had to pass it. We cried because you could feel that it directly hit you but you have to”.
Wofa Atta as popularly known in his constituency also suggested the name given to the tax was inaccurate.
“I think we should have gotten a better name for the tax. We could call it an environmental tax or tax to reduce pollution”, he said.
“Do you know that people who use luxurious cars benefit the most when government gives subsidies on petroleum? Cars with greater engine capacities also contribute to higher pollution of the environment therefore if you can clean the environment, then those with higher engine capacities who tend to pollute the environment the more if possible must pay more”. He suggested.
The NPP led government introduced a tax called “luxury tax” on vehicles it determined as a luxury which meant vehicles with more engine capacities above three litres will have to pay tax every year.
With the new tax, vehicle owners can pay as much as GHC2,500 to government every year.