Organised Labour has decided to suspend its planned nationwide demonstration against the implementation of a 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) on electricity consumption following the government's directive to halt the implementation.
The government's directive, issued to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) on Wednesday, February 7, led to the suspension of the VAT implementation. Consequently, Organised Labour, comprising public and private sector unions including the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and its affiliates, called off the demonstration scheduled for next week Wednesday.
Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah, Secretary-General of TUC, made the announcement during a press conference in Accra, stating, “The planned demonstration scheduled for 13th February 2024, has been suspended until further notice.” He confirmed receipt of a formal letter from the Ministry of Finance informing them of the directive.
While Organised Labour suspended its action, Dr. Baah emphasized the ongoing efforts to ensure the removal of the 15% VAT on electricity from the country's VAT Act. He stressed the importance of repealing Act 870, which has contained the VAT provision for the past 11 years.
Mad Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, President of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association, echoed the sentiment, emphasizing that if the implementation resumes, so will their action. Similarly, Mr. Isaac Bampoe Addo, Executive Secretary of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association (CLOGSAG), emphasized the need to annul the relevant section of the VAT Act, highlighting it as a crucial step in preventing its future use.
The Ministry of Finance had directed ECG and NEDCo to implement the 15% VAT effective January 1. However, with the suspension of implementation and Organised Labour's vigilance, the fate of the VAT remains contingent upon further engagements and potential legislative amendments.