Tax Burden on Businesses Seriously Leads to Smuggling & Affects Citizen Welfare

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By Foday Moriba Conteh

The imposition of various taxes on enterprises or businesses by Governmental institutions such as the Ministry of Finance and the National Revenue Authority (NRA) significantly affects the general standard of living and could lead smuggling. These taxes, larger business entities to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), weigh heavily on businesses, causing a cascade of repercussions that directly impact the welfare of citizens.

Despite political pledges of accessibility to essentials like “Bread and Butter,” the reality diverges starkly. Instead of alleviating tax loads or making minimal adjustments, Government decisions often result in significant tax hikes. These hikes not only disrupt business operations but also push consumer prices higher, rendering basic necessities less affordable for households.

This situation, in turn, diminishes the overall standard of living for the populace. Examples include taxes on imported butter and rice. Elevated import duties, excise taxes and GST increases directly translate into higher prices for these staples, further straining household budgets.

The cycle continues as heightened taxation leads to inflated prices, exacerbating citizens’ financial hardships. In essence, the correlation between Governmental tax policies and the general standard of living is undeniable. As taxes rise, businesses struggle to survive, while citizens bear the burden of inflated prices for essential goods.

This economic strain highlights the pressing need for Government intervention to alleviate tax burdens and prioritize policies promoting sustainable economic growth and enhanced welfare for all.

To impose taxes on businesses in a manner that minimizes the impact on the overall standard of living, policymakers must adopt a strategic and equitable approach. Transparency and clarity in tax regulations are essential, providing businesses with clear guidelines and ample notice regarding tax changes to help them plan and adjust, thus reducing unforeseen financial burdens.

Additionally, offering tax incentives and exemptions can encourage business growth while ensuring compliance with tax obligations. Targeted tax relief for specific industries or small businesses can foster investment, innovation and job creation without compromising Government revenue.

Moreover, investing tax revenues in infrastructure and public services can stimulate economic growth and improve the general quality of life. Allocating funds to critical services such as healthcare, education, and transportation creates an environment conducive to business growth while simultaneously enhancing living standards for citizens.

While taxation remains essential for Government operations, careful planning and implementation can mitigate adverse effects on the standard of living.

By embracing a holistic approach that balances the needs of businesses and citizens, policymakers can ensure that taxation fosters economic prosperity without compromising the welfare of the population.


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