Augustine Sorie-Sengbe Marrah ESQ, a prominent lawyer and social activist has expressed strong concerns over what he perceives as an undue burden on the citizens on the Government’s Finance Act 2024.

Marrah criticized the government for imposing excessive taxes on essential commodities, specifically targeting staples like rice and iron rods.

Marrah ESQ emphasized, “Our government is now taxing our hardship by over-taxing our staple food—rice and iron rod, two important commodities the people need to survive. With the already very high cost of fuel, the inevitable increase in the price of rice will skyrocket the burden on the suffering masses. Governments are voted or formed to make things better and easier for the people. But over-taxing is not one of those ways—no nation has taxed its way out of poverty. We need sound fiscal and economic policies and programs and not more TAXES.

In the statement, Marrah emphasized the impact of these tax hikes on the already struggling population. He argued that taxing staple foods, which are vital for survival, and essential construction materials like iron rods, is a direct imposition on the hardships faced by the citizens.

Highlighting the prevailing economic challenges, Marrah drew attention to the soaring costs of fuel, predicting that the inevitable increase in rice prices would exacerbate the burden on the suffering masses. He underscored the fundamental role of governments in improving the lives of their citizens, stating that over-taxation contradicts the purpose of forming a government.

Marrah contended that taxing one’s way out of poverty is an unsustainable strategy and urged the government to focus on implementing sound fiscal and economic policies. He called for comprehensive programs that would genuinely alleviate the challenges faced by the people, emphasizing that imposing additional taxes is not a viable solution.

As Sierra Leoneans grapple with economic difficulties, Marrah’s critique adds to the ongoing discourse on the role of taxation in fostering economic well-being and highlights the need for more thoughtful approaches to governance and economic policies.