Veteran journalist Kwesi Pratt Jnr identified that Ghana’s progress is being crippled by its inability to find innovative ways of raising funds.
Speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana, he said that the country reliance on taxes and interventions from other countries and institutions is holding it back from progress.
Even with the tax system, Pratt asserts that the failure of successive government’s to expand the tax net has led to the unavailability of funds for developmental projects.
He says that the country has adopted a ‘lazy’ approach in dealing with the revenue generations issues and that is a huge problem.
Kwesi Pratt proffered that the country is ‘broke’ and requires urgent moves to address its problems.
“We have a situation where 91% of total national revenue and grant is expended on debt servicing and public sector emolument. You are broke. This country is broken to the core and that is the reality. My worry is that it is clear that what we’ve adopted is a lazy man’s option to filling that huge hole in national revenue.
“We’ve adopted a very lazy man’s option. So we do know that we move huge volumes of petrol, so slap taxes on petrol and then we slap all kinds of taxes on petrol. More than 12 taxes which then tends to make petroleum products so expensive. We say slap taxes on hotels and we slap 20 taxes on hotels,” he said.
Kwesi Pratt laughed off suggestions that by merging the National Identification card and Tax Identification Numbers, the tax will automatically be widened.
He mocked the government and charged Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia to steer the country out of this challenge.
“The last time I heard we were being told that the tax net was going to be widened by the use of NIA numbers as TIN numbers and I laughed. If you convert all NIA numbers into TIN, it does not solve the problem of widening the tax base. It does not in any way expand the tax base.
“We’ve always known that we are a country with a 30 million population and that by itself does not solve the problem of a small tax net that needs to be expanded. All those things are propaganda that takes us nowhere. Our reality today is that we cannot depend on taxes alone to finance our development. I’m not saying something that is new, this was the song sang by Bawumia some eight years ago.
“That we should get to production as a way of generating resources for national development. I’m not the first person to say this, Dr Bawumia has said it many times over. Now he has been given the chance as vice president and five years we are still sermonizing,” Kwesi Pratt Jnr stressed.