Following the passing of the Energy Sector Levy bill, petroleum prices saw increases between 18 per cent and 27 per cent from January 1, 2016.
The opposition party in a statement signed by Nana Akomea, the Communications Director, said the move by government is “callous, wicked, insensitive and lazy”.
Find the full unedited statement below:
NPP CALLS FOR URGENT AND IMMEDIATE REVIEW OF THE PETROLEUM PRICE
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) urges the government to immediately reverse or review the imposition of a 27% hike on petroleum products which has seen the price of petrol increase from ghc 12 to over ghc15 a gallon, effective January 1st 2016. The 27% increase is completely unjustified.
There are two main determinants of petrol prices: the cedi exchange rate and the price of crude oil. The price of the cedi exchange rate has been relatively stable, at Ghc3.85, in the last few months. The price of crude oil HAS ACTUALLY FALLEN STEEPLY, from $110 in mid 2014 to $37 today.
By operation of the automatic petrol price adjustment formula, petrol should be selling at about ghc9 a gallon. Indeed the trend all over the world, including in the rich countries) has been drastic falls in petrol prices. It is therefore totally baffling that in Ghana, the ndc government has not seen it fit to reduce the price of petroleum products to bring much needed relief to the Ghanaian consumer, but has ACTUALLY increased the price of petrol by a whopping 27%, from Ghc 12 a gallon to nearly ghc16 a gallon.
In effect, the poor consumer does not get the well deserved relief in petrol price, but is actually punished by the government of ndc by imposition of higher prices for petrol.
Furthermore, over the last month or so, the NDC government has imposed at once, a 60% increase in tariffs for electricity, a 67% rise in water tariffs and a 27% rise in petrol price, on the long suffering Ghanaian.
All these unbearable increases have come on the back of only a 10% provision for increment in workers’ wages and salaries.
The increases therefore show a callous, wicked, insensitive and lazy government which quickly, time and again, resorts to using state power to financially squeeze the poor Ghanaian consumer.
Apart from the poor Ghanaian having to eke out to pay directly the 60%, 67% and 27% increases, the poor taxpayer will still be confronted to eke out further to pay increases in trotro fares, bus fares, school fees, sachet water, kenkey, rent, and for food etc. Businesses are going to suffer from increases in operating costs, losses in profit and further limiting their ability to expand and create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.
It must be noted that the ndc government has removed all subsidies on petrol prices by its operation of the automatic petrol pricing formula. So when the prices of oil or the dollar increase, the effect of petrol price increase has been passed on without any cushion to the Ghanaian consumer. But when the price of oil has fallen to its lowest level in 7 years , the ndc govt has not allowed the automatic reduction in petrol price, as per the formula, but has rather imposed new and increased taxes to rather raise the price of petrol by this whooping 27%.
These taxes, imposed under a certificate of urgency, include taxes on Ghanaians for a so called ” legacy debt”( or Energy Debt Recovery Levy), another Energy Fund Levy, a Price Stabilisation and Recovery Levy, a National Electrification Scheme Levy , dramatic increases in the Road Fund Levy and the Public Lighting Levy !
The preponderance of these taxes and levies at this time, in the face of the steep increases in water and electricity tariffs, portray a very uncaring and wicked government, whose main policy is to impose higher and new taxes on the long suffering Ghanaian, even in the face of poor growth in the economy. These government imposed hardships are unfortunate.
The NPP urges the govt to revisit this issue, and review the taxes urgently to relieve the poor Ghanaian. The suffering of the people is too much!