Stream Original TV and Radio Live

TEIN protest against government VAT Imposition on Students


The Tertiary Education Institutions Network (TEIN) of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in tertiary schools has revealed a circular from the Finance Ministry that orders the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO) to charge VAT for residential customers of electricity from January 1, 2024.

In the statement signed by Mohammed Saddiq Gombilla, the National Coordinator of TEIN, they claimed circular signed by Finance Minister Ken Ofori Attah, claims that the VAT increase is part of the Government’s Medium-Term Revenue Strategy and the IMF-Supported Post-COVID-19 Programme for Economic Growth.

However, TEIN says that the move will have disastrous consequences for residential customers, especially students, who will face a minimum 15% surge in electricity costs.

According to TEIN, anyone who consumes more than 30 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month will have to pay 15% VAT.

TEIN argues that this decision will affect students’ lives in various ways, such as:

Forcing them to pay more for using electric cookers, laptops, phones, and bulbs, as gas cookers are banned in most institutions due to fire hazards.
Making them pay VAT twice, once on their academic user fees and once on their private hostel fees, as over 80% of students live in private hostels due to the lack of accommodation in most institutions.

Hindering their research activities, they rely on electric devices and equipment such as ovens, warmers, incubators, refrigerators, and microscopes for their thesis work. TEIN says that this will affect the quality of research output and the contribution of universities to national development.

TEIN calls the VAT imposition “cruel and heartless”, as it applies to individual items and then to the total sum, creating a double burden for students. TEIN also says that students have already suffered enough from the constant increases in academic user fees in the past four years and that the VAT hike will worsen their mental well-being.

TEIN urges the government to reconsider its decision and prioritize the health of Ghanaians over its financial goals. TEIN also calls on all students and stakeholders to join them in protesting against the VAT hike and demanding a fair and affordable electricity tariff.

Source:Eric Bekoe