Government Should Rethink Decision To Tax Calls On WhatsApp, Facebook And Others

Taxes on the use of Social Media Taxes on the use of Social Media

Ghanaians are currently buffeted on all sides by forces beyond their control. From rising unemployment to erratic power supply, increasing prices of goods and services and cost of living is at an all time high. Students in basic and secondary level returned to school earlier this week, with parents having to cough up so much through their noses to pay for school fees, amidst the increment in the prices of petroleum product. Prices of other items like cement, tomatoes, sachet water, assorted drinks, vegetables etc, have also risen sharply, with an indication that transportation fares are going to go up.

Call and data tariffs of the biggest telecommunication company, MTN now wear a new tag. The move by the company is to make room for the 1percent increase in National Insurance Levy by the government.

All these price hikes mean only one thing: a general ballooning in the cost of living.

While this lingers, Ghanaians are hoping that the government will, as a matter of urgency, put in place measures to alleviate the situation that is already pushing towards the crisis threshold.

Then comes in the minister of Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, who while addressing the Mobile Technology for Development (MT4D), hinted that stakeholders in the telecommunication sector, especially Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), will be engaged on how government can shore-up its revenue by taxing OTT.

According to the minister, "Currently, government is losing huge revenues from the MNOs to OTT digital service providers as traditional sources of telecoms revenue like voice declines. It is important that we have a frank, open dialogue on this, and explore other sources of revenue within the digital services space to improve government domestic revenue mobilization".

All these price hikes mean only one thing: a general ballooning in the cost of living.

The moment the country finds itself in calls for innovative thinking, as well as purposeful leadership to get us out of these crises.

We are persuaded as a newspaper to point out the situation in the country as at now, leaves no room for additional taxes.

The government must know that, you can't always tax your way out of every problem. Production and protecting local businesses is the only way out.