Undeniably, taxes form a major part of the revenue government needs to carry out development in the country. As citizens, it remains our civic duty to contribute to the development of our country through the payment of taxes. In the same light, it is incumbent for the managers of the economy and state to ensure the effective utilization of taxes paid by citizens. Taxes paid by citizens must be put to use by providing goods and services that will satisfy the needs and interest of citizens. Over the years, most citizens especially those in the formal sector have honoured their civic duties but as to whether we have been reciprocated with public goods and services that address our needs still remain unanswered.

I was really amazed and extremely shocked when I read that , the Chief Justice had set up special courts to deal with TV license defaulters. Is the Chief Justice by this act suggesting that, Ghana has enough courts to handle the many criminal issues? With the recent program dubbed ” justice for all” , it came to light that, there were many citizens who have been in police custody for years for non trial due to many reasons of which inadequate judges and courts is one of the many reasons. Instead of us focusing on getting more judges to deal and handle such cases, we are establishing courts for TV license defaulters. Isn’t it a shame? Isn’t it sad and heart- breaking that some citizens have been in prisons and police custody for years yet we don’t prioritize putting measures to deal with their cases yet we focus on TV license defaulters.?
Have we as a country been able set up special courts to deal with the many social rot such as mob justice, yet we are setting up special courts for TV license defaulters?

Proponents of this tax argue that, it has a legal backing and needs to be implemented. For over 25 years, we haven’t been able to implement fully the constitutional requirement of Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education. Are we able to honour our legal duties by paying fully to the Assemblies the 5% to 7.5% of revenue acrued for development? Are these not legally binding on the state?
Is it that, the state is interested in implementing laws that will make citizens worse-off rather than better- off?

Sadly, we are told the payment of the license is not for content but for ownership. I may not be surprised when we are made to pay for owning other technological appliances soon.
Instead of Ghana Broadcasting focusing on innovative programs to serve the interest of Ghanaians, they are just interested in this nuisance taxes.

This license to me is a nuisance and unnecessary.Owners of TVs pay taxes when purchasing them, commercial users also pay taxes to the state. What then is the need for this license again if we are paying for ownership?

The state should find more innovative ways of raising revenue for state agencies and not by introducing this nuisance tax.

 

Ohene- Ntow Vincent
YALI fellow
Masters degree student in development policy and planning.
E-mail: vincentntow12@gmail.com