The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has reiterated its plans for a strike on February 14, 2024, as the government has not officially communicated any withdrawal of the proposed 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) on electricity consumption. Mr Joshua Ansah, Deputy Secretary General of the TUC, confirmed to the Ghana News Agency that the strike remains scheduled pending official notification from the government.
Despite the Ministry of Finance's instruction to implement the 15% VAT on power consumption from January 1, 2024, Mr Ansah emphasized that the lack of official communication regarding its withdrawal necessitates the continuation of their intended action.
He urged the government to explore alternative revenue mobilization methods instead of resorting to taxation, which often burdens citizens and businesses. Mr. Ansah proposed implementing effective policies to address tax evasion, reviewing tax exemption regimes, and scrutinizing public spending to minimize the need for IMF interventions.
The TUC's stance reflects its opposition to the VAT on electricity, which it views as burdensome to consumers. The policy, part of the government's Medium-Term Revenue Strategy and the IMF-Supported Post-Covid-19 Programme for Economic Growth (PC-PEG), has faced staunch criticism from organized labour.
While the Ministry of Finance announced plans for “extensive dialogue” with Organized Labor and other stakeholders, the lack of concrete action has led the TUC to uphold its strike plans. The union maintains that unless the government officially withdraws the electricity VAT, their intended action will proceed as scheduled.