The Food and Beverages Association of Ghana (FABAG) has expressed concerns over the burden the government has placed on consumers due to exorbitant indirect taxes and levies imposed on basic goods.
The association says consumers pay up to 100% of the cost of some items due to various taxes imposed by the government.
According to a press statement released by the group, it provided many examples of shocking price inflation due to taxes.
It explained that a tin of evaporated milk costs ¢8.5 before taxes but retails at ¢15.5 after taxes, which is an 82% increase.
Similarly, a bottle of beer costs ¢5 without taxes but sells at ¢11 after taxes are added, a 120% jump.
Similar astronomical price hikes are seen on goods like spaghetti (110%), tin tomatoes (86%), 50-kg bag of rice (100–120%), and chicken (130% increase for local chicken).
Other goods with huge tax-related price inflation include cooking oil (120% per box), used gas cookers (88%), canned sardines (109%), and car batteries (100%).
The exorbitant taxes mean the price of basic goods like a bag of rice can exceed the entire monthly salary of low-income earners like waiters and drivers.
The Executive Chairman of the Association, John Awuni, cautioned that the high taxation is negatively impacting businesses and the economy.
According to him, the reduced demand from high prices results in lower sales volumes and production.
This slows business growth and means less revenue mobilisation for the government overall.
Mr Awuni advocated major tax cuts and the cancellation of some taxes in the 2024 fiscal year budget.
He argued that this would boost private sector performance and trigger higher demand and sales.
According to him, the current taxation policy is stifling growth and making smuggling attractive.
The association has called for a comprehensive review of these charges to alleviate the financial strain faced by ordinary Ghanaians.