government-tax-accountability

Accountability And Tax—Why Ghanaians Must Care

Taxes are compulsory payments made to a government by individuals and businesses in a country from their incomes and other transactions. Tax contributions provide a government with funds to enable it carry out its mandate of governance and to superintend over judicious use of the financial and other resources.

We have seen the manner in which successive governments administered the state’s tax resources. In this article, I will discuss with you what our taxes should be used for and why we must care how they are managed.

Education

Well educated citizens are the wealth of a nation. When the human resource of a nation is well equipped with knowledge, they are able to think round their problems and find solutions to them. This is however dependent on a good robust and dynamic educational system, which will be adjusted to the demands of the time. Lots of money is needed to do this.

This is what the citizens’ tax is to be used for.Teachers need to be trained in current trends in diverse fields to be able to properly impart knowledge to students. Government must provide state-of-the-art classrooms and libraries to facilitate teaching and learning etc.

Transportation

Reliable transportation a critical factor for the success of every economy. The transportation of people and goods will facilitate economic growth, and this is what taxes should do. When there is good and various means of transportation, people will be able to connect to different parts of the country to undertake different sought of economic activities which will bring in revenue to government.

But where there is no good transportation, the movement of people and goods will be hindered and this will reduce the amount of revenue the government will make from economic activities. Aside this, it will limit the growth of businesses because transportation will become a headache. If we ensure that our taxes are properly managed, we will have diverse means of transportation to help improve doing business in the country.

Health

Health is wealth. We need a good health care system which is able to meet the health demands of citizens and provide good and quality health care, this can be done only by the judicious use of our tax funds. In Ghana, the NHIS is the flagship health support program funded by the government.

The sustainability of this program however is in an unstable state as funds meant for the schemes’ use which is a levy charged on every citizen is constantly diverted into other non-dividend projects and service providers are starved of funds for services they have provided. This has resulted in patients being turned away from health facilities and pharmacies when they are in dire need of health care and this sometimes results in death. If we as citizens demand accountability and judicious use of our contributions to the national coffers, we can make sure that critical services like the NHIS work without fail and we must hold whoever we have trusted the systems with, responsible for any failures.

Trade & Industry

Trade and Industry. Trade and industry is one of the key components of every economy. The ability to promote trade between citizens and countries can generate huge income for government and give it influence in the bloc of nations or on any other negotiation table. This can be realized only by properly, simply by putting our money where our mouth is.

If our taxes are used properly by governments that come and go, there should be improvements in the environment business play. eg. stable power supply, reliable water supply etc. however, allowing corruption to take a better part of the funds leaves very little to work with. Ghana has lately seen the failure of government to solve a power problem which mainly has to do with purchasing sufficient gas to fire the plants.

If we take issues of managing taxes as serious as our personal finances, we will be able to hold whatever or whoever to do the job they are paid for. If we improve trade as an industry there will be much desired expansion of the economy which will create jobs and improve lives. But let’s know that, this can only be done by taking the responsibility of holding whoever we trust with managing our tax funds accountable.

 

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