NDC To Instigate Youths Against Gov’t
…Over 10% Betting Tax
The imposition of a 10 percent withholding tax on lotteries and games has sparked outrage among bettors, with the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), threatening to instigate the youth against the government and its officials.
The party, through its youth wing, said it will use every legitimate means to get government to rescind its decision and suspend the tax, which took effect on Tuesday, August 15, 2023.
Affected earnings are sports betting, lotteries and games of chance which will be deducted at the point of payout.
According to the NDC, which is hoping the Ghanaian youth population will join them in this mass action, it will embark on a series of actions some of which will be in a form of demonstrations, picketing agitations and so on to drum home their demand.
A statement issued yesterday Wednesday August 16 and signed by national organizer, George Opare Addo, who is said to be in faraway United States (US), said “Our determination to protect the funds Young People secure through betting is unyielding.”
It continued, “In the face of the unjust ten (10%) taxation on bet wins, we, the young people of Ghana and the NDC Youth, declare a resolute series of actions to resist the burdensome and insensitive policy.
“Our unity is unwavering and our determination to protect the funds of the young people secured through betting is unyielding.”
“Through agitations, protests, agitations and advocacy and civic engagements, we will ensure our voices are heard and demand that this corrupt Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government rescind its decision.”
A Deputy Youth Organizer, Osman Ayariga, speaking on Adabraka-based Citi FM, yesterday, called on the youth to come in their numbers as they are “here as a voice for the youth.”
Among others, the youth intend to picket at the Ministry of Finance and also occupy selected government offices nationwide.
“We intend to do the following: picket at the Ministry of Finance and occupy government offices across the country. Start and scale up nationwide conventional and unconventional lawful agitations as a measure of the resistance,” parts of the release said.
They will also “instigate young people to confront officials of this government and demand ‘AN END to the CORRUPTION and insensitivity of the AKufo-Addo-Bawumia-failed brigade.”
The NDC youth also served notice to “occupy” Parliament and other government agencies.
“We are asking you as young people to mobilize and join this struggle.”
The statement said government only wants young Ghanaians to compensate for “monies stolen and stashed by appointees of this NPP government and saved in their homes and bank accounts; the massive corruption happening at the Bank of Ghana under the watch of Dr. Ernest Addison; the failed vision of President Akufo-Addo’s government; the lies of Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, seen now to be a public ridicule amongst young people; the arrogance of appointees of the government who have taken the pleasure of stealing public funds, talking down on citizens; and robbing young people of the meager sums they secure through betting in an economy that has impoverished them.”
The notice comes in the wake of the implementation of the withholding tax being enforced by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). It commenced on Tuesday August 15, 2023 following the passage of the Income Tax (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 2023 (Act 1094).
The Ghana Revenue Authority explained that the new tax will replace the existing 15% Value Added Tax (VAT) on each stake.
Since announcing the institution of the tax, many bettors have condemned the policy, saying it was unfair, especially when many of the unemployed youth have resorted to bets to make ends meet.
Some of the youth used social media sites, including tiktok and traditional media, to air their disagreement.
Days ago, actor-turned-politician, John Dumelo, appealed to President Akufo-Addo to reconsider the move to tax winnings.
Dumelo, in a post shared on social media site X, said the new move could lead to an act of resistance from the already suffering youth.
“Create jobs, you won’t create. The youth have created their own jobs too, ahhh, you want to tax their winnings. Continue. That day will come when the youth will rise against you. It will be too late.”
But the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Youth Authority (NYA), Pius Enam Hadzide, speaking on Citi Fm’s eyewitness news programme, argued the imposition of the tax is to serve as a disincentive to the youth who he said must engage in decent jobs being offered by his outfit and other policies of government.