Petroleum Workers Want Fuel Prices Reduced

The General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU), want a reduction in the price of fuel to help ease the cost of living of Ghanaian workers.

According to the national secretariat of the union in a statement issued recently, the frequent unannounced fuel price hikes were dealing hefty blows to the pockets of workers, whose salaries remained unchanged.

Fuel prices recently shot up from GH¢5.19 per litre to about GH¢5.39 per litre representing a 3.7 per cent increase.

Pinning the increase in the fuel prices on increases in some components of the energy sector levies, the union stated: “We are calling for a reduction in the taxes to ease the difficulties of workers. We hope and believe that this piece will go a long way to send a signal to government on the appalling and harsh conditions faced by the Ghanaian worker and the society in general to enable it take a position to rectify them without delay.”

It also said the taxes levied on Ghanaians by Government were high and too many. “The tax on fuel alone is between 40%-45% of the fuel price. Government must immediately reduce the tax to lessen the burden on Ghanaian workers.”

It continued that such unannounced fuel price hikes did not bid well for workers, their families and the general public and must therefore be discontinued.

Another group, the Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), has also raised concerns on the development, adding that its yearly assessment depicted that fuel price changes had been exorbitant and eroded the ability of workers to buy.

It highlighted that the meager salaries received by Ghanaian workers, coupled with increased taxes on PAYE, water, electricity and communication was unhelpful to their welfare.

“Workers and Ghanaians cannot link the higher taxes that confront them with any appreciable improvements in basic economic and social circumstances of the country.”

—Daily Guide