Political appointees pay taxes – Attorney-General declares

Ms Gloria Akuffo, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, has debunked a public perception that political appointees did not pay taxes to the Government.

She said that perception was a misconception adding that when she was a Deputy Attorney-General under the erstwhile President Kufour’s Administration, she paid 10 per cent tax on her fuelled vehicle and 10 per cent on the Government bungalow she was occupying.

According to her, she paid 20 per cent taxes on her annual earnings in addition to the taxes that were deducted at source.

Ms Gloria Akuffo made this known at a roundtable discussion organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), a policy think tank, to review the 2017 Presidential Transition in Accra.

The meeting was on the theme: ”Strengthening Presidential Transitions in Ghana”.

Ms Akuffo said as much as she believed in the review of the Presidential Transition Act, (Act 845) promulgated in 2012, in view of the inherent lapses, it was not the panacea for solving the country’s law enforcement challenges.

She said the operators of the law must demonstrate clear desire to let it work instead of being pretentious with its implementation.

She pointed out that the employment of certain personalities by the previous government on the eve of its departure was worrying and queried why it could not wait till the end of the transition process.

She cited the appointment of the Auditor-General at the last-minute, saying the appointment was unnecessary because it created unnecessary tension and suspicion.

”The appointment created the impression that indeed, you wanted somebody to cover your back, therefore we should look at the practical way of doing things.

”We have been made to believe that the President could exercise his powers till the last day of his tenure since the Constitution permits him, however, it must be exercised in line with the spirit and letter of the law,” she said.

Commenting on whether the Administrator-General should be part of the Presidential Transition Team, Ms Akuffo said the Administrator-General was the mediator between the incoming government’s team and the out-going one, therefore he must work in the best interest of the state.

Commenting on the debate on whether the outgoing political appointees should be allowed to buy their vehicles that were more than two years, she said the debate should continue so that the issue would be put in the proper perspective.

The Administrator-General’s Office of the Presidential Estate Unit keeps record of all state properties, therefore, the law required every outgoing government to hand over notes of the various ministries 30 days before the conduct of a national election.

The roundtable discussion brought together various stakeholders including political party representatives, civil society organisations and donor partners that dispassionately discussed the shortcomings in the transition law.

Source: Ghana News Agency