- October 5, 2022
- Posted by: tjcadmin
- Category: Annual Report
The Coronavirus pandemic was the most defining occurrence in 2020. The year started with hopeful projections but the onset of the Pandemic in March 2020 affected many plans and become a major issue affecting almost every country especially curtailing human engagements and diverting attention to health care needs to reduce the impact of the pandemic. This affected the Tax Justice Coalition’s programming as well. The Coalition had to refocus its attention to the Corona Virus pandemic response activities and was in turn affected by the limiting impact on human physical meetings. The campaign however, in trying to adjust to the new ways, also leverage on these new opportunities to impact on socio economic development especially for the poor and vulnerable to achieve the project objectives. The project produced a report and Government’s fiscal response measures on the Covid-19 pandemic and using that to engage for policy influencing objective. The campaign also was able to train some media personnel on Ghana’s Beneficial Ownership Register as well as the Right to Information law in Ghana to help in the broader campaign against IFFs. But the year had been eventful for the Coalition by leveraging on the support from its partners to execute opportunistic campaigns on the Covid-19 fiscal and socio-economic responses which received considerable Government attention in the Government’s 2020 mid-year budget review proposals.
The Financial Bleeding Register
The Ghana Financial Bleeding Register is envisaged to become the flagship project of the Tax Justice Coalition of Ghana. The project concept is borne out of the incessant and overwhelming outpour of media reports on mismanagement and embezzlement of public funds. The intensity and quick succession of the reports is enough to neutralize the remedial actions expected to be the outcome of the high levels of transparency that the media provides, that we have achieved in Ghana. The practical effect of this situation is that society is not able to fully interrogate and follow up on one corruption issue before another one is reported, and the next reports also follow in quick succession. The torrent of information and the difficulty of deciding which one address or leave is enough to cause inaction and a collective numbness of the entire society.
The Ghana Financial Bleeding Register and COVID-19 responses in Ghana. The Ghana Financial Bleeding Register was successfully designed and published. A list of 47 cases of financial malfeasance covering issues of bribery and corruption, procurement infractions, money laundering and more were listed. An estimated Ghc 6.7 billion was involved in these cases bothering on corruption, bribery and theft while that on commercial transactions, tax evasion/avoidance and commercial was estimated at about Ghc 3.4. money laundering cases accounted for about Ghc 1.07 billion of estimated amounts. In all, a total of Ghc 11.16 billion was involved in all these selected cases of financial malfeasance and potentially associated losses to state. The register provides the Coalition a tool for further programming and engagement on these listed cases of financial malfeasance and a platform for the large campaign against illicit financial flows. This is envisaged to become the flagship project of the Tax Justice Coalition of Ghana beyond this project.
The second activity for the quarter was an extensive media engagement on the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the project undertook 14 different media engagements comprising of 13 live radio and two live television interviews on the issues of COVID-19. These engagements were broadcast in both English and in some cases local languages across the eight (8) regions in Ghana. The outcome of this activity was evident in the Government’s mid-year budget review where the recommendations proffered as a result of this project received Government attention, particular on Government’s social intervention for the poor and marginalized.
Overall, the quarter activities have given the Tax Justice Coalition, Ghana enormous leverage in its outreach activities and recognition in the policy engagement space in Ghana.
The Covid-19 Response
The Covid-19 Response project was supported by Christian Aid and Action Aid. The project sought to elicit governance responses to the COVID-19 pandemic for the poor and vulnerable have already received some commendable attention. The implementation included a desk study and extensive media engagement on the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the project undertook six different media engagements comprising of five live radio and 1 live television interviews on the issues of COVID-19. These engagements were broadcast in both English and in some cases local languages across the eight (8) regions in Ghana. The outcome of this activity was evident in the Government’s mid-year budget review where the recommendations proffered as a result of this project received Government attention, particular on Government’s social intervention for the poor and marginalized.
Overall, the project gave the Tax Justice Coalition, Ghana enormous leverage in its outreach activities and recognition in the policy engagement space in Ghana.
In the mid-term budget review in August, 2020, Some of the Government’s responses were largely in line with the project recommendations. For example, the Government agreed to allow commercial transport services to increase transport fares in view of increasing cost in the transport sector as a result of government intervention on the Covid-19 pandemic, which limited the number of passengers on a vehicle. This was to help alleviate the burden on many low-income operators in the transport sector as a result of Covid-19 on their operations. The Coalition through its press statement on 6th July 2020 advocated for government to relief the pain of those directly affected by its policy such as transport operators and some other low-income earners such as low-income employees of some closed down schools who may not be able to benefit from governments stimulus packages. The Tax Coalition is happy that, the mid-year budget review ascended to some of these demands which included income support to those who have lost income and an extension of utility bills support for three months to at least poor households. This response was a welcome development. Such Government pro-poor social and progressive tax interventions will go a long way to alleviate the burden of some poor Ghanaians in line with some of the recommendations of this activity.
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