He was responding to the massive outcry over the introduction of new taxes saying he does not delight in slapping Ghanaians with taxes that led to the increases.
Government has been accused of increasing the tax components on petroleum products which has led to the huge increment in the prices of fuel.
According to the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) due to the taxes, petrol have been increased by 33% at the pump while diesel has gone up by 40%.Responding to a question posed by Citi FM’s Bernard Koku Avle during a media interaction at the Flagstaff House said though he does not delight in increasing taxes, such decisions ought to be taken to safeguard the interest of the nation.
“It’s not every decision that will be popular but what was I elected for as president, to take popular decisions? If I took popular decisions for you to be happy with me, this country will be in the ground by now. Do I take pleasure in imposing taxes on people as if you just take a pleasure in doing it, you don’t. But you look at the alternative and the alternative is worse and so you must take decisions that are in the national interest. The benefits might not be seen immediately but in future people will see what benefits they have accrued from the decisions that were made,” he added.
President Mahama however noted that the vulnerable in society are not suffering for the brunt of the hikes because transport fares remain unchanged.
“…in any case, for the vulnerable in society, transport fares have not gone up so actually the increase is hitting us the users of private vehicles,” he added.