General News of Thursday, 2 June 2016
New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for New Juabeng South, Hon. Dr. Assibey Yeboah has ‘flayed’ the Deputy General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Koku Anyidoho for his unsavory attacks on the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper over a proposal to tax allowances and pension.
According to the economist, Koku Anyidoho does not have the locus to question the minister over his proposal, even though the NPP oppose to the proposal by the minister.
The deputy scribe of the governing NDC in an interview with Accra based Montie FM, threw salvos at Seth Terkper over his comments that, plans were underway for allowances and pensions to be taxed.
The Finance Minister, at a Graphic Business/Stanbic Breakfast forum said “Yes, allowances must be taxed. They are income,” Terkper had said, explaining also that it is a thorny issue taxing pensions “It’s a thorny one because you are exiting.
But remember that as you make your social security contributions, they are exempt from tax even though it is part of your income,” he had explained.
However, Koku who reacted to the comments said, “The NDC party will not sit down… the NDC party we are tired, yabr?…, we will not sit down again… No individual minister will walk us into opposition. No individual minister will walk us into opposition, it will not happen, it cannot happen…” ”Who would appreciate your good works when taxes drown the people, he quizzed… “Why? Why? It will not continue and cannot continue.”
“Go to your business forum, go and make your submissions as a tax expert and receive applause. Never, never, never hang it on our neck.” “Seth Terkper, please watch your language. The NDC does not belong to you, it does not belong to me, it belongs to the grassroots. Seth Terkper do not incur the wrath of the party,” counseled Koku, who said the next time it happens the party would lead demonstrations against the government for while they would support the government any day, they bear allegiance first to the party.”
But commenting on the issue, Dr. Assibey says, Koku Anyidoho should hold his gun and stop attacking the minister, since he does not form part of cabinet neither is he a member of government to warrant such attack.
He opined that, the deputy scribe of the NDC should understand that government is far different from political party, therefore, Koku Anyidoho should give the minister a break.
According to him, Koku has no moral right to claim that, there is no discipline in government communication when he has committed the same offence in the past. “Who is Koku Anyidoho to question the mintier? Is he a member of cabinet? If a Minister of Finance has made a statement, why should Koku Anyidoho be called to question the minister’s proposal,” he quizzed.
He added, “Were we not in this country when Koku Anyidoho sacked the EC boss on radio when he was at the Presidency? So if today, the Finance has the power and making statements, who is Koku Anyidoho to question the minister?”
He advised the NDC as a party to petition the President if they think the minister is making the government unpopular, so the President in his wisdom will axe the minter.
President Mahama on Thursday took to his twitter page to assure Ghanaians that, his administration has no intention to tax Ghanaians.
However, Dr. Assibey says, the minister who is one of the high ranking cabinet ministers doesn’t speak in a vacuum and before he will make any statement like the one in contention, he may have discussed it with government.
He opined that, the proposal by Seth Terkper has government approval. He explained the proposal is an indication or better still a warning to Ghanaians of what government intends doing.
Dr. Assibey indicated, the NPP as a party are opposed to the proposal of taxing allowances and that, the explanation given by the minister is neither here nor there.
The economist said, the economic situation we face today, with a double digits inflation, will make it extremely difficult and challenging for Ghanaians if the proposal is implemented.