The new tax policy, a good and services tax, has resulted in a 15 percent increase in the prices of all basic commodities in the country and has been met by fierce opposition by the workers and peasants who continue to experience increased misery and could hardly afford a single meal a day.
At a press conference conveyed at the Sierra Leone News Agency in Freetown, the African People’s Socialist Party told journalists that the new tax policy is part of a deliberate decision by the neocolonial government of Ernest Koroma to further worsen and deepen the poverty and hardship facing the majority of the masses across the country.
Interim Leader of the African People’s Socialist Party of Sierra Leone, Comrade Chernoh Alpha M. Bah says the government’s decision to impose a new tax policy on the masses of African people in Sierra Leone is completely unacceptable and unjustifiable at a time when the vast majority of the masses are facing acute hardship and suffering.
Comrade Bah also pointed out that with reports of allegations of massive corruption within the Sierra Leone National Revenue Authority (NRA), a public disclosure of the total value of revenue generated from taxes within the last two years is urgently needed to verify whether tax-payers monies have been used for national development.
“A public disclosure of the total amount of revenue collected by the National Revenue Authority during the last two years should be made public so as to allow the tax-paying masses the opportunity to independently determine whether the value of the taxes paid during such a period has been sufficiently and reasonably used to provide the much needed social services required for economic growth and national development,” Comrade Bah said.
The APSP called for an independent investigation to be mounted against all senior officials of the Tax Department.
“An audit assessment of the various assets and properties of senior officials of the NRA and middle ranking employees should be undertaken to determine the actual relationship between their salaries during the last two years and assets and properties acquired by them during this period,” the Party demanded.
The APSP says immediate increase in the salaries and wages of teachers and better conditions of service for all workers must be urgently developed and implemented to reflect the worsening economic situation in the country instead of a tax policy that will further intensify the worsening conditions of the masses.
“The new Goods and Services Tax (GST) should be immediately withdrawn to prevent complete collapse of the economy,” the Party says.
The African People’s Socialist Party of Sierra Leone was launched in November 2009 following a three-day national consultative conference held at the British Council Hall in Freetown.
The APSP is the first revolutionary workers party founded in Sierra Leone to provide leadership for the African workers and poor peasants struggling to control state power.