The Ghanaian Food and Beverage Association (FABAG) is ready to support any presidential candidate who addresses its concerns.
FABAG, led by Executive Chairman John Awuni, is concerned about increasing taxes affecting the private sector. Awuni mentioned that businesses are looking at investing in neighboring countries due to these challenges.
FABAG encourages its members to vote based on candidates’ positions on important private sector issues. The association specifically wants clear policies on taxes and policies for imports, manufacturing, and the service sector.
The statement: “Indeed, members of our association as well as our employees will be encouraged to vote based on how the various political parties commit to address the key concerns of the private sector. The sector is the engine of growth but currently, the engine is grinding to a halt. Business-friendly government policies which constitute fuel and lubricants of a healthy engine have gradually been replaced with business-killer policies. We would like to know how this engine will be re-ignited when a new administration takes power. How the sector will be revitalized needs to be clearly articulated and documented in manifestoes. Questions that beg the attention of those seeking the mandate of Ghanaians to govern are as follows: What will be the specific tax policies for imports, manufacturing, and the Service sector? How will they make the private sector genuinely profitable if given the mandate? At the moment, most players, including members of our apex association in the private sector feel unwelcomed by the government and viewed as though they are criminals for demanding a break from over-taxation. The attacks, mudslinging, and harassment are dispiriting. We don’t feel the backing and support of the State.”
FABAG criticized three new taxes recently signed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, stating they would harm the business community. These taxes, including the Excise Duty Amendment Bill 2022, the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill 2022, and the Income Tax Amendment Bill 2022, were passed on March 31, 2023.
Ghanaians have expressed concerns about the new taxes, particularly how they might affect lower-income individuals and small businesses in the digital economy. The bills are expected to generate about GH¢4 billion annually. The government defends them, stating they aim to boost domestic revenue and improve Ghana’s fiscal position after COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war.