Betting tax: Sammy Gyamfi clarifies the NDC’s position

Estimated read time 4 min read

Sammy Gyamfi, the National Communication officer of the opposition NDC, explained the party’s argument against the 10% betting tax. The government in its desperation to raise revenues has decided to slap a 10% tax on all bet winnings. As a result, many Ghanaians have spoken against it and the NDC Youth wing even threatened to protest the decision by picketing at the Finance Ministry and occupying Parliament and other government agency office.

In the midst of all that, comments made by the NDC lead communicator prior to the 2020 elections have resurfaced online. Many are calling out the party for showing double standards as it earlier said it will impose a tax on betting.

However, Sammy Gyamfi has come out to clear the purported misconception by throwing more light on the comments he made three years ago. According to him, sports betting, “although undesirable, has become a necessary evil given the state of hopelessness, joblessness and excruciating hardships that Ghanaian youths have been plunged into by the insensitive and reckless Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government”.

And based on that, it is very wrong for the government to tax the Ghanaian youth instead of taxing the multi-national companies that operate the betting business.

My attention has been drawn to desperate attempts by some NPP social media activists to put a spin on a comment I made about sports betting in the run-up to the 2020 elections.

In response to a question on how the NDC intends to fund the Sports Development Fund we promised in our 2020 manifesto, I indicated in the said interview, that that the NDC will consider imposing a tax on sports betting “as it’s done in the UK”.

The question every objective mind ought to ask, therefore, is what pertains in the UK relative to taxation on sports betting?

The answer is simple! In the UK, bet winnings are not taxed. Rather, bet companies are heavily taxed. See link.

This is the example I cited and indicated that a future NDC government will consider post 2020. The new 10% tax on bet winnings that the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government has introduced is the direct opposite of what pertains in the UK and the position I canvassed in 2020. Don’t be misled!

For the sake of clarity and emphasis, the NDC is vehemently opposed to the 10% tax that has been imposed by the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government on bet winnings;

1. Sports betting although undesirable, has become a necessary evil given the state of hopelessness, joblessness and excruciating hardships that Ghanaian youths have been plunged into by the insensitive and reckless Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government.

2. Taxing bet winnings under the current excruciating economic conditions Ghanaians are facing, particularly, the high rate of inflation of 43.1% and the highest unemployment rate among others, is insensitive and totally unacceptable.

3. Government should be innovative in its bid to increase tax revenue and stop this lazy approach to taxation. If government is minded to raise tax revenue from betting, its focus should be on taxing multinational/foreign bet companies as it pertains in the UK and other jurisdictions and not poor Ghanaian youths who have been compelled by the harsh economic conditions in the country to seek refuge in sports betting for their very survival.

4. More importantly, the new 10% tax on bet winnings introduced by the NPP contravenes the government’s social contract with Ghanaians. That social contract is to the effect that; “taxation is a lazy approach to governance” and that an NPP government will “reduce the tax burden on Ghanaians” and move the country from “taxation to production”.

Contrary to this promise, the current NPP government has introduced over 25 tax handles since they took office in 2017- a clear betrayal of the trust of Ghanaians. These taxes have conspired to make life unbearable for the vast majority of Ghanaians, particularly the youths who can’t find jobs.

The NDC will not and cannot lend its support to the double-standards the NPP continuous to display relative to taxation, particularly at this time of unprecedented hardships.

5. Undoubtedly, Sports Betting has become a refuge for the millions of Ghanaian unemployed youths who have been compelled by the economic mismanagement of the NPP to depend on betting for survival. Imposing a 10% tax on bet winnings is therefore cruel. Given the difficult times we find ourselves in, the NDC fully supports calls for the immediate scrapping of the newly introduced 10% tax on bet winnings.

This is the official position of the great NDC on the newly-introduced 10% tax on bet winnings.

Sammy Gyamfi Esq.

National Communications Officer

National Democratic Congress

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours

Leave a Reply