The Executive Chairman of AB & David Law, David Ofosu-Dorte, is advocating legislation that would place limits on the government’s power to impose taxes and levies on the citizenry.
He stressed that Ghanaians are overburdened with taxes introduced by various governments over the years, and this has rendered the citizenry poorer while stifling private businesses.
“Now individuals and corporate citizens cannot be said to be prospering if all the monies that they get are taken away from them,” he said.
“My first recommendation is that we ought to be thinking of limits beyond which government cannot tax.”
Mr. Ofosu-Dorte made the call during the UPSA Law School’s annual Constitution Day public lecture, which was held on Thursday, January 6 in the West Wing of the Kofi Ohene-Konadu Auditorium on the UPSA Campus.
The lecture was on the topic “The 1992 Constitution: A Fundamental Law for Our Prosperity or a Well-Crafted Guide for Our Economic Doom?”
The private legal practitioner believes that preventing the government from imposing new taxes would also check irresponsible spending and stem the government’s appetite for borrowing.
“Taxes keep increasing to cover the ever-increasing expenditures of the state,” he said. “I have made a list of about 15 things to show that we are being punished as citizens. These are things that have been imposed on us to pay, and that is what citizens are supposed to bear.”
Mr Ofosu-Dorte is confident that Ghana will recover from its current economic woes in the coming years, but warns that things could worsen if the government does not maintain fiscal discipline.
He said: “Let’s remember that NDC had a haircut years ago for the banking sector only. This time around, there is “Haircut 2, which has affected other entities. We are likely to have a “head cut” the next time. Watch 2027 to 2029, if we continue what we are doing, we will be more broke than we are now.”
In highlighting the gains of the 1992 Constitution, Mr Ofosu-Dorte observed that, despite the rights of citizens enshrined in the constitution, many citizens are still being oppressed by the very people they voted into power.
“The constitution’s users have made it a sin to become a Ghanaian citizen. As much as citizen’s rights are given in the constitution, it is difficult to identify any gains Ghanaians have made from being citizens. It appears as though citizens vote people into power to oppress and punish them,” he said.
The lecture was attended by some high-profile personalities, including politicians, members of Parliament, legal practitioners, members of academia, students, and a section of the general public.