What An Opposition Huh!!

Minority NDC

Partisan politics, unfortunately has set us on the path of self-destruction although our politicians miss no opportunity to tell the people to vote for them for a better Ghana. These politicians gleefully neglect their side of the social contract and ignore the welfare of the people. The situation becomes more tragic when the opposition becomes more desperate for power.

These politicians resort to smear campaigns and propaganda just to cause disaffection for the ruling government. Even policies meant to improve the well-being of the people are shot down by the Minority, always citing the welfare of the people as reason for their action.

This type of irresponsible opposition is carried out knowing very well that no president comes to power with his or family pot of gold but relies on taxes to carry out its mandate. Former President Mahama, somewhere in 2015 justified tax increases and increment in petrol prices saying those who cannot afford the luxury of V8 can park them and join trotro. Today, the same person thinks imposing taxes on betting and gaming earnings is wicked and a lazy approach to revenue mobilisation.

It is pathetic that in all this opposition to the imposition of taxes, the NDC, Mr Mahama and their allies in the media, academia and civil society do not put alternatives on the table.

These people do not have alternatives, and even if they do, they are objectionable because they are not fit for purpose. To these people, the alternative is the resort to rabble-rousing to get some uninformed people to follow them.

Ever since the NDC leaders in Parliament voiced out their opposition against betting tax and in the last few days by their youth organiser, Opare Addo, what suggestions have they put on the table as a better alternative?

They have none as their agenda is to incite a section of the youth to join them to disturb the public peace. It is frightening that people who should know better and help in informed debate on the matter, including some professors calling themselves analysts, throw dust into the eyes of the people. Some of these people are globe trotters who know that no country succeeds without taxes. Payment of taxes is a difficult endeavor, and that is why in the Scriptures tax payers look at the collectors with scorn.

However, in today’s world, any country that is not able to collect enough taxes will lag behind in development. We need some education. Is Opare Addo saying that winnings on betting do not constitute incomes? And does he not know that taxes are paid on income? By now we should be singing from the same hymn book about tax payments and mobilisation.

Some of the arguments include the fact that they have no jobs that is why they have resorted to betting. We hear them but what the government is saying is that since earnings are also incomes, pay a little of it to the state to help in our development efforts. The government is not talking about a ban on betting, as some people have advocated since it is not encouraging hard work among the youth.

We plead with politicians to show patriotism enough by encouraging all Ghanaians to contribute their quota to the nation’s kitty. If they continue along the present path of opposing innovations of the Akufo-Addo government to boost the economy, very soon concerned Ghanaians will liken them to the meaning some readers gave to Professor Kwesi Yankah’s column, “The Kwatriot.”

We have always advocated responsible opposition from the NDC because we need them to hold the balance of power so that the NPP government becomes accountable to the people.

Many male Ghanaians including some females follow European soccer to the hilt, but for which our weekends in Ghana will be boring. It is on those league matches that the youth of Ghana stake their bets. And have they ever asked themselves whether the footballers who are providing us with entertainment and incomes pay taxes on their salaries?

Those who earn more pay as high as 50 percent taxes on their earnings, even as they go through the stress of professional football. Opare Addo has travelled before, and while he served as MCE he would have loved the policy of tax on street parking so the assembly would mobilise more revenue to develop Akropong Akuapem and other towns in the municipality.

In Europe and America only a few areas are designated free parking, including car parks in apartment buildings. Let us, the privileged ones, educate our brothers and sisters to contribute extra more to nation building by paying their taxes. This way the government can mobilise more resources to provide schools, roads, hospitals, sanitation and water facilities across the country.

Also, we all must learn that taxes are imposed to regulate lifestyles like the smoking of cigarettes and consumption of alcohol as well as sweetened beverages to safeguard the health of the people.

We urge the people to flee from the NDC like a plague is next door, as the hypocrisy of the party and their leaders is legendary.

The alternative is abominable as its prescription for the development of the economy lies in rejection of policies, probes, boycotts and demonstrations.