Ghana Announces Increase In Telecoms Tariffs
Mobile operators MTN, Vodafone and AirtelTigo, have recently announced that there will be an increase in the tariffs of their telecom services as from November 1, 2018. The Chamber of Telecommunications of Ghana (GCT) explained that this price change had become necessary after the government introduced new on 1 August 2018.
The CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Kenneth Ashigbey, issued a communication specifying that the reason of the review was to give effect to the conversion of NHIL and also GETFL into levies that are not subject to the input-output mechanism, and separating them from the VAT by taking away the option of input tax deductibility.
In July 2018, the Ghanaian Parliament changed the country’s fiscal policy. The National Health Insurance Tax (NHIL) as well as the Ghana Trust Fund for Education (GETFL) which were levied in the past in the value-added tax, become independent taxes.
NHIL and GETFL were previously both set at 2.5% VAT; now the rate had gone up to 12.5%. The CEO of GCT Kenneth Ashigbey explained that these new taxes are purely consumption taxes that have an impact on the cost of various products and services.
The price increase is bad news for Ghana’s consumers because it further restricts their buying power and increases their cost of living by a stretch. The Executive Director of the Association of Industries of Ghana (AGI), Seth Twum Akwaboah said that plans had already been made with the Ministry of Finance to discuss a possible referral of new taxes within the budget law for Ghana’s national budget for 2019.
Customers of telecoms services will be informed by their service providers before any changes are made and the upcoming changes will be useful as from the 1st of November 2018.
Kenneth Ashigbey assured the citizens of Ghana that the telecommunications sector remains committed to complete transparency and accountability to both their customers and to the Government of Ghana.