SEND Ghana has urged the government to reintroduce the luxury vehicle tax as a means of mobilizing domestic revenue to implement its programs.
The CSO as part of its recommendations after a preliminary assessment of the 2021 budget, said the government failed to generate consensus for the policy because it did not use the brand of cars to categorize the levy.
Speaking to Starr News, Country Director for SEND Ghana George Osei Bimpeh said his outfit wants to encourage the government to be bold about reintroducing the luxury tax. He said largely, the government had defined luxury cars by the engine capacity which was completely wrong. According to him, there are a lot of luxury cars that do not even have that high capacity.
He stated that on the other hand there are a lot of other utility cars that poor people patronize that are used for public transport and have higher capacity. “Some are also used for agricultural purposes. So, it was completely wrong.”
Mr Bimpeh indicated “but you and I know that a car like Range Rover, Mercedes Benz, Bentley, Ferrari are known to be luxury in nature and so we think that we can use the brand for example rather than the engine capacity to do the classification.”
“And you realise that the economic elite were the ones who were more or less vociferous against it. These people of course because they have the social capital to negotiate and to put pressure on the government. Often times government feels threatened.”
He further noted “and we are saying that government should be bold because progressivity in tax regime requires that those people who have more pay more. And that is what we are asking for. And we are encouraging the government to bring it back.”
“But that of course will require the government to engage other stakeholders like those at Abossey Okai to clarify the classification issues so that when it comes, it will actually target the rich rather than making it too broad that will result in a whole lot of agitation.”