Give more tax power to local authorities – Dr. Patrick Awuah tells gov’t

kwahuonlineradio July 29, 2019 0
Give more tax power to local authorities – Dr. Patrick Awuah tells gov’t

Founder
of Ashesi University College Dr. Patrick Awuah wants government to pay
attention to empowering local authorities to solve problems facing
communities.

One
way to do this, he said, is to ensure authorities like the
Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies are able to raise local
taxes enough to address local needs.

He
was speaking ahead of an expected increase in taxes as the Finance
minister reads the 2019 mid-year budget review. Government could be
targetting consumption items with an inelastic demand such as energy and
communication.The
expected increase brings back another conversation about the efficient
use of taxes cutting waste in government and corruption.Speaking
on the Joy FM Super Morning Show Monday, the celebrated education
innovator Dr. Patrick Awuah observed that those who collect the most
taxes are not those who are directly responsible for addressing the
needs of the community.

But
those who are directly responsible, local authorities, rely heavily on
the central government for funds for their communities.

The Ashesi University College founding President faulted this arrangement as ineffective.

“When
people feel that they are paying taxes and it is going to be used by
some remote government officials for their own ends in a way that
doesn’t benefit them directly….that is something every government should
pay attention to.”

He said he would vouch for “a system where there is very broad local taxation that is used for local development.”  Dr. Awuah said Ghana needs to design a system that gives local authorities power to raise funds from local taxation.Gha

na
runs a unitary system of government that collects and aggregates money
at the central government level for distribution through the local
government system and the ministries.

The
system, while expected to promote uniform development, has been faulted
as incapable of addressing local development effectively. There has
been an increasing agitation in communities with poor infrastructure
with central government often under pressure to fix local concerns.Despite
a decentralisation system in Ghana’s constitution, experts say without
deeper fiscal decentralisation, local authorities will continue to
struggle to solve community problems.



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