Six groups are demonstrating against the Luxury Vehicle Tax by driving their vehicles to the premises of the Ministry of Finance, Parliament and the Jubilee House in Accra today, Thursday, March 7.
The groups are Vehicle and Asset Dealers Association of Ghana, National Concerned Spare Parts Dealers Association, True Drivers Union, Concerned Drivers Association, Ghana Committed Drivers Association and Chamber of Petroleum Consumers.
The coalition of groups had planned to hit the streets with 2,000 vehicles but an Accra Circuit Court ordered them to use 40 vehicles to avert heavy vehicular traffic in Accra.
Onua FM’s Emmanuel Agyemang reports from the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, where the demonstrators have converged to start the protest, that, already, four septic tankers have been parked at the venue to be used as part of the demonstration.
The demonstration is as a result of Minister of Finance Ken Ofori Atta’s mid-2018 budget review, which imposed a luxury vehicle import tax as part of a new policy to help raise more revenue.
The tax would be imposed on luxury vehicles with the capacity of 3.0 litres and above.
The implementation of the Luxury Vehicle Law commenced August 1, 2018, after Parliament passed it.
An annual levy on vehicles with high engine capacities was consequently imposed after it was proposed by the government.
With the approval of the legislators for its implementation, vehicles with engine capacity of 2950 to 3549 Cubic Centimetres were required to pay a levy of GH¢1,000, while those with engines between 3,550 to 4049 cubic centimetres would pay GH¢1,500.
Vehicles with engine capacities above 4,049cc are also obliged to pay GH¢2,000.
The levy will be paid by the vehicle owner on the registration of the vehicle and subsequently on or before the annual renewal of the roadworthy certificate each year to the Driver and Vehicles Licensing Authority, the body authorized by law to collect the levy on behalf of the government.
Speaking in an interview on Onua FM’s Yen Sempa hosted by Bright Kwasi Asempa on Thursday prior to the commencement of the demonstration, Mr. Jacob Osei Yeboah, who is a two-time presidential candidate and now a consultant to the coalition, said the group made series of effort to meet the Finance Minister and the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade and Industry but they never minded them.
He said since the inception of the law, vehicles with engine capacity of over 2.8l are not being purchased.
Mr. Osei Yeboah said spare parts of such vehicles are not being purchased and all these have contributed to the fall of the Cedi against the major trading currencies in the country, especially the US Dollar.
Number of vehicles
Mr. Osei Yeboah said the police wanted to place injunction on the use of vehicles for the demonstration but the court ruled that if they are banned from using those vehicles for the demonstration, the citizens would not know the type of vehicles they are talking about, so the demonstrators have the liberty to use the vehicles.
The consultant noted that customers of defunct Menzgold Company have also decided to join the demonstration because of what they have gone through in the hands of the government.