Policy think tank, IMANI Ghana has praised the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the contents of its 2016 manifesto describing some aspects of the document as “noble.”
According to President of IMANI Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe the manifesto’s component which seeks to reduce or scrap some taxes in the country is phenomenal but urged the party to clarify the idea.
Speaking on Citi FM‘s news analysis programme, The Big Issue, on Saturday, Mr. Cudjoe, whose outfit had analyzed manifesto promises made by the various political parties, asked some five questions he said if answered would make the NPP’s manifesto better.
The NPP launched its manifesto last week in Accra on the broad theme of “creating prosperity and equal opportunity for all.”
The manifesto is loud on reducing the corporate tax rate from 25% to 20% and social intervention programmes including setting up a Northern development fund as well as giving each constituency an amount of $1 million.
Franklin Cudjoe’s question about NPP’s manifesto:
“We think they need to clarify whether the proposed corporate income tax rate would be a flat tax rate that cuts across all sectors, because this is a very critical question. If you say 20% does it mean all sectors? Because currently there are some sectors that enjoy lower tax rates than 25%. In fact hotels, financial institutions and companies listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange for instance enjoy corporate tax lower than 25%,” Mr. Cudjoe noted.
He also wanted to know whether the NPP would remove the “incentive deferential and tax these companies at a flat tax rate of 20%? What about non-traditional exporters who are taxed at only 8%.”
“In 2010 the government revised the mining tax rate back to 35% after the NPP brought it down to 25%in 2006. But the question we ask is would the mining sector be affected by this new flat tax rate? The other promise which is 75% of tax funded procurement shall be executed by local companies. This is noble, clearly noble, but the NPP needs to explain how this local content policy would do given the history of such trend. Sectorial schemes have not been very effective like we’ve been seeing.”
“We’ve dealt with the NDC, we’ve seen some instances where local content issue within the mining or petroleum sector were a bit shady and quite worrying so anybody who wants to do something like that needs to be exact clear on exactly what they want to do.”
On the NPP’s social intervention programmes on establishing a Northern Development Fund and one million for each constituency, Franklin Cudjoe said “we need further details on how this one would differ from the other ones.”
“Question also is what administrative machinery would be put in place in these constituencies to oversee the allocated money. We don’t want a situation where SADA created was actually a parallel development authority when you had regional bodies as well otherwise this may look like they are duplicatory especially when we have district assemblies as well,” the IMANI boss added.