Minority set for demo against 17.5% petroleum tax

Kyei Mensah Bonsu

The coming week is likely to witness a series of mass actions by Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) to press home their demand for a decrease in the prices of petroleum prices.

This was after government introduced 17.5% tax on all petroleum products on Wednesday, November 19, 2014.

Even though the members of the Minority New Patriotic Party (NPP) side of Parliament decided to boycott the bill that saw the introduction of the new petroleum taxes with a walkout, their colleague Majority MPs in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) used their numbers to pass the bill into law yesterday.

But Deputy Minority leader, Dominic Nitiwul, yesterday told DAILY GUIDE: “We are not going to sleep; from next week, you will begin to see a series of actions that the Minority will engage in.”

“Our intention is to get ourselves into the streets and woo the people of Ghana into supporting what we looking at because we believe that fuel should be selling below GH¢10… It doesn’t matter what it is, fuel should be selling around that price,” he noted.

That, he said, was because “we think that the government is cheating our people” and that “if it means demonstration, we will. We are planning a series of actions that will ensure that the government will listen to the people on the ground.”

According to him, the 17.5% tax on petroleum products was meant to hoodwink Ghanaians, since “what they actually did was that they brought fuel back to the realistic price of GH10. They recalculated using the formula and they calculated it to be around GH¢12 and then they applied the 17.5% tax to it and then sent it back to around GH¢16.”

In view of the falling prices of oil on the world market, coupled with the cedi gradually gaining strength, Nitiwul, who is also the MP for Bimbilla, said “the normal thing would have been for them to reduce the prices but they are increasing it.”

“The normal price government itself intended selling to the people was GH¢12.20 but we in the Minority are insisting that the actual price should be about GH¢10, not more than that because fuel prices are reducing on the world market,” he emphasised.

He has therefore served notice that “we will go to town to force government to reduce it to GH¢10.”

According to him, “our series of actions are to get the people of Ghana to understand why we are saying that fuel should not be selling more than GH¢10.”

source : Daily Guide