Susan Adu-Amankwah, a gender advocate has commended the government from scrapping the market tolls placed on market women and head porters (Kayayei), stating that it makes the government look compassionate towards the vulnerable in society.
She said that the removal of the tax, regardless of how low it is, makes a huge difference in the lives of these women, who are already struggling to make ends meet.
Adu-Amankwah who is also the vice- chairperson of the Convention's People's Party, was speaking on Class FM's breakfast show when she said, "I think for the Kayayei it will make a difference in what they earn. I have no idea what the average Kayayo earns, but because they don’t earn that much, for them it will make a big difference and it will stop them from being harassed. The way sometimes you see the local authority people harassing them for payment, at least, that kind of nuisance will stop."
She added, "For anybody, I guess if money is being taken away from you and they say you can now keep that money, it doesn’t matter how small it is, it is always welcome. It also helps in giving the government a kind image sort of. So it may not necessarily be in terms of the value but there is a value in it for the government to look compassionate to the most vulnerable in our society."
Ms. Adu-Amankwah's remarks follow the minister of finance's budget reading at parliament yesterday, where he outlined a number of tax reforms including the removal of market tolls placed on traders and the head porters.
She however noted that for the lives of the 'Kayayei' to improve beyond their current conditions, government would have to play a more active role than just removing taxes.
"Those young ladies need more than just that one cedi taken away from them. You could do that and still not change their circumstances in life. What they need is to have better education, better opportunities for jobs, and move out of that circle of life," she said.