NPP calls for immediate reverse of petroleum prices

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The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has described as “unjustified” the recent hike in petroleum prices, calling for a reverse of the decision.

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!

Signed

Nana Akomea

Communications Director

Source: 3news.com|Ghana

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