In the mid-year budget review, Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin criticized the government for not eliminating the tariffs on sanitary pads.
The Speaker had previously encouraged the administration to use the mid-year budget review to eliminate the levies on sanitary napkins, but this was not included in the Finance Minister’s presentation on Monday.
When Alex Tetteh Djornobuah, the member of parliament for Sefwi Akontombra, attempted to defend the implementation of the taxes during his discussion, Alban Bagbin responded to the situation on the floor of the legislature.
The Speaker urged the current administration and any next ones to abolish levies on sanitary pads.
“On the issue of sanitary pads, the government should rethink about it. Because the taxes are not only imported ones, even the locally produced ones are taxed. The businesses met me two days ago, [and told me that] even the raw materials are taxed. They were complaining about production, to the extent that some of them folded up. This is something that I take seriously. Don’t let us miss the point, I will not tax a woman, my mother for producing me. I don’t support that at all, so the state must take this matter seriously.”
“There are countries where it is for free, there are countries where a lot of taxes have been removed. That is an issue I’m very passionate about, to all governments that will come, we can do without it. How much do we make from this taxation? We like taxing the poor, we are not taxing the rich”.
The administration has been urged by many parties to eliminate the levies on sanitary pads.
Wednesday’s Midyear Budget Review debate in Parliament saw the Speaker of the House, Alban Bagbin, voice his grave displeasure that the government had not eliminated taxes on sanitary products.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a member of parliament for North Tongu, brought up the subject and criticized the government and the finance minister for ignoring the pleas from numerous well-meaning Ghanaians to remove tariffs on sanitary pads.
The Midyear Budget Review was expected to address this problem, but to the disappointment of many, the tariffs on sanitary pads were not modified.
Sylvester Tetteh, MP for Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro, responded to Ablakwa’s worries about the tariff by arguing that it serves to prevent the importation of foreign sanitary items and protect the two local businesses involved in their production.
The Speaker of the House of Parliament disagreed with this viewpoint, emphasizing that the government should stop charging necessary sanitary items because it disproportionately affects the least fortunate members of society.