Labour Unions in the Republic of Ghana have given the government a seven-day ultimatum to withdraw a directive to the Electricity Company of Ghana and Northern Electricity Distribution Company NEDCo to charge Value Added Tax (VAT) on residential electricity consumers whose consumption crosses the lifeline of 0-30 kilowatts of power.
The unions vowed to mobilise their members and stage a massive protest if the Government refused to listen to them.
Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress of the umbrella body of all labour unions in the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Yaw Baah, while addressing a press conference in Accra, the capital of Ghana, vehemently opposed the imposition of VAT on residential electricity consumers.
“It’s always the poor people in this country, including pensioners, who bear the brunt, and we should not allow that to continue. Organised Labour, we have come together and our message to the government is very simple, we cannot pay VAT on electricity. We will not pay it today or tomorrow,” Energy News Africa quoted Baah saying.
Organised Labour is demanding the immediate withdrawal of the letter, and another directive from the Finance Minister to Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), ECG to stop the implementation of the VAT on electricity.
We are giving the government, up to January 31, 2024, to withdraw the letter,” Dr Yaw Baah said.
“If by that time the minister of finance fails to give directive to GRIDCO and ECG we will advise ourselves,” he said.
It would be recalled that Ghana’s Minister for Finance, Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in a letter written on January 1, 2024, directed the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO) to charge VAT on residential consumers who consume electricity above the lifeline.
According to the Minister, the VAT forms part of the Covid-19 recovery programme.