Margaret Ansei, a member of the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) communications team, has expressed the party’s dismay at the Akufo-Addo administration’s increased tax collection efforts, including the taxation of wins from bets.
Recently, the NDC’s youth wing released a statement opposing the 10% tax on bet’ gross winnings, causing a stir on social media; especially Twitter.
As expressed by the Margaret Ansei, former President John Dramani Mahama declared that he opposed betting, but she claimed that if it has become commonplace and the government is taxing it, then it should be taken into consideration.
“First of all, the NPP gov’t when they were campaigning in 2016 elections, made a lot of statements and commitments with regards to taxation. The famous one that President Akufo-Addo said on the 1st December, 2016 when he was a candidate was; “if you are tired of high tax rate, vote Akufo-Addo.” Then again, he said; “the ordinary worker in Ghana has been burdened with taxes, a reduction in taxes will mean more disposable income for farmers”.
“Again, Alhaji Bawumia said; “NDC has resorted to increasing taxes under the economic difficulties they created and the NPP government will do different.” So, these are some of the comments they made on twitter and other social media handles through their campaign platforms. And the famous one that the Vice President also said was that “they are going to move the country from taxation to production.”Margaret Ansei
In her explanation of how the “Kumi pr3ko demonstration” was organized, the NDC communications team member noted that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his staff, were the least likely to burden the people with taxes, since they orchestrated that demonstration.
Youth Concerned About Unemployment
Furthermore, according to Margaret Ansei, the youth are worried about the bet tax because there is no employment in the nation. She claimed that the youth in Ghana have no jobs due to the high unemployment rate, and as a result, once they woke up, their only option for survival, other from using social media, was to turn to betting.
“I don’t even know how they do it or what they put into it but if someone gets a little from betting and probably can use it to go and start a business, and you are taxing the gross and taxing 10%, we think it’s so outrageous and the gov’t must reconsider it.
“I know there are other lottery institutions that are there and I don’t know how many youths are into it. But I know that this gaming and betting thing, most of our youth are into it. And in all these things that we do, this is a people centered democracy.”Margaret Ansei
Also, she opined that everything should revolve around national security and interests, emphasizing that the people’s needs should come first. She said that 60% of Ghana’s population is under 30 years old, citing the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), and claimed that this indicated that gambling is popular among young people.
“So, the youth wing of the NDC which I belong to, is asking the gov’t to take off the 10% on the gross of the better or the winner. You are taxing the gaming and betting institutions already. The young man who has GHC50 and has gone to win GHC2000, taking 10% from it will harm their winnings.”Margaret Ansei
Additionally, she asserted that anyone who had a job to do, would not have the luxury of time to go place a wager, if they got up in the morning and went to work. She did, however, make the argument that because young people need money to start businesses, the only way to get more money is through gaming and betting establishments. This is due to her claim that they were idle as well.
“Since there are no alternatives to abolishing this legal betting, then let’s consider the young people of this country who are going into it to get a little capital to start something,” she stated.