Ghana mineworkers want gov’t to stay firm on proposed 10% windfall tax

Government must be firm and ignore any form of lobbying to stop or delay the proposed 10% tax on windfall profits by mining companies, Mr Prince Phillip Ankrah, General Secretary of the Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU), has said.

Reacting to a news item that the 10% tax on the windfall profits of mining firms might not take effect this year as proposed in the 2012 budget, he told the GNA that, failure to introduce it meant there would a short fall in expected government revenue, which would also affect proposed developments.

The GMWU of the Ghana Trades Union Congress was one of the first to praise the Government for taking what it called “bold step to enhance the revenue base” of the country when the 2012 budget statement was announced in November 2011.

Already the government had raised corporate tax for mining companies from 25 to 35% and this, Mr Ankrah said was commendable because it demonstrates Government’s bold resolve to generate enough revenues from the mining sector for the country’s development goals.

But, he added, government should be firm and demand that players in the mining industry become honest and to ‘open their books’ when making their cases about cost implications and their impact on operations.

Mr Ankrah said transparency would prevent the situation where multinational mining companies tended to make huge profits at the expense of Ghana’s overall development agenda.

He said the GMWU also believed that the ownership structure of the mining operations should be re-looked to ensure that mining communities, which had suffered years of exploitation, did not continue to wallow in abject poverty and deprivation.

The windfall tax bill is currently before Parliament.

Source: GNA

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