The minority in Parliament has reiterated its opposition to the electronic transaction tax bill currently before the House.
This new opposition comes at a time when the Minister of Finance and the Minister of State in charge of Finance, Charles Adu-Boahen are back in the Chamber for the debate on the vote on the controversial bill.
President Alban Bagbin is also back in the Chamber and presides over the business of the day.
Addressing the House, MP for Yapei Kusawgu, John Jinapor noted that the idea behind E-Levy is lazy economy.
“So far in just one year the price of cocoa has gone up, gold has also gone up, crude oil has also gone up, all of our major exports, prices have gone up and yet our net reserves where that money is going , fell from GHC 8 billion to GHC 5 billion Mr. President, what is the true state of the Ghanaian economy today, our deficit is the worst of 40 African countries, our debt to GDP ratio is 80.1%…after taking the people of Ghana through this hardship, why do you then want to take the little money they put in their mobile money wallet,” he said.
John Jinapor argued that the government should instead think about measures to protect Ghanaians instead of imposing taxes amid the current economic crisis.
He urged those in the majority who oppose the levy to be brave and vote against the bill.
“I know that some of you are not part of the insensitive group. I know some of you are worried about your constituents. Be bold, stand up and be counted. I want to call on them, be bold, stand up and be counted,” noted John Jinapor.
Yapei MP Kusawgu told the Finance Minister who was also present in the Chamber, “Mr. Finance Minister running this economy is not just quoting Bible verses to us. Thank you very much for your Bible quote, but when you quote the Bible, you must follow that with actions, principles, programs and projects”.
Shortly after addressing the House, Speaker Alban Bagbin adjourned the House for thirty minutes.
It was then that the minority MPs chanted “Don’t tax MoMo! Don’t tax MoMo! Don’t tax MoMo!
Electronic direct debit
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, during the presentation of the 2022 budget on Wednesday November 17, announced that the government intended to introduce an electronic direct debit.
The levy, he revealed, is introduced to “widen the tax net and the rope in the informal sector”. This followed an earlier announcement that the government intended to stop road toll collection.
The proposed levy, which was to come into effect in January 2022, is a 1.75% charge on the value of electronic transactions. It covers mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inbound remittances. There is an exemption for transactions up to GH¢100 per day.
Explaining the government’s decision, the Minister of Finance revealed that total digital transactions for 2020 were estimated at over GH¢500 billion (approximately $81 billion) compared to GH¢78 billion (US$12.5 billion). ) in 2016. Thus, the need to expand the tax net to include the informal sector.
Although the government has argued that it is an innovative way to generate revenue, dozens of citizens and stakeholders have expressed varying sentiments on its advisability, with many strongly opposing it.
Even though others have argued in favor of the tax, part of the population thinks that the 1.75% electronic tax is an insensitive tax policy that will aggravate the already existing difficulties in the country.