The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has given the government a seven-day ultimatum to withdraw the imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT) on electricity consumption above lifeline.

In a letter dated January 1, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, directed the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCO) to implement the VAT, aiming to raise revenue for the COVID-19 recovery program.

However, the TUC, led by Secretary General Dr. Yaw Baah, vehemently opposed the move, citing its detrimental impact on the livelihoods of ordinary Ghanaians, particularly pensioners and low-income earners.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Dr Baah said “It’s always the poor people in this country, including pensioners, who bear the brunt. And we should not allow that to continue. Organised Labour, we have come together and our message to the government is very simple, we cannot pay VAT on electricity.

“We will not pay it today or tomorrow. Organised Labour is demanding the immediate withdrawal of the letter, and another directive from the Finance Minister to Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo), ECG to stop the implementation of the VAT on electricity. We are giving the government, up to January 31, 2024, to withdraw the letter,” Dr Yaw Baah said.

He stated that they will advise themselves if the finance minister fails to direct GRIDCo, and ECG to withdraw the letter.

“If by that time the minister of finance fails to give directive to GRIDCO and ECG we will advise ourselves,” he said.