National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament ( MP) for the Ajumako-Enyan-Esiam Constituency in the Central Region, Cassiel Ato Forson, has responded to the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful’s “advice from brothel” letter with Bible verses, indicating that even though the Minister’s letter was abusive, he will not respond in equal measure but will only reiterate his earlier stance that she has no mandate to direct telecommunications companies on how to implement taxes.
The former Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Forson while making it clear that he found Mrs Owusu-Ekuful’s letter, abusive, focused on rehashing his point by quoting the relevant laws, that tax implementation was the preserve of the Ghana Revenue Authority and not the Communications Minister.
“Reference is made to your abusive letter…dated 16th October 2019,” he noted, adding that: “I had hoped that we could engage in a decent discourse as public officers who occupy transient positions only at the pleasure of the people we are expected to serve with decorum and honour, but it wasn’t to be. Guided by Colossians 4:6(NIV):” let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone,” I refuse to join you in your brothel.”
Telecommunications Companies implemented the increased Communication Service Tax (CST) by making upfront deductions from subscribers. This led to numerous complaints by subscribers. Some leading members of the governing party, New Patriotic Party, then accused the telecommunications companies (telcos) of trying to make the government unpopular with the ‘transparent’ deduction of the tax.
Subsequently, the Communication Minister wrote a letter to the telcos, to among others, revert to the old way of deducting the CST( deductions were done “back end”, as subscribers used their credit) but Mr Forson wrote to the Minister arguing that she had no mandate to issue directives to the telcos on tax implementation.
Mr Forson was hit back with the much-discussed “advice from brothel” letter. In this reply of hers, the Minister stressed that she understood the law differently and was not ready to take pieces of advice on morality from the brothel.
Meanwhile, the telcos are yet to revert to the old way of deducting the tax even as the two MPs continue to exchange letters on who has the mandate to issue directives on tax implementation in Ghana.