The Member of Parliament (MP) for Adaklu in the Volta Region, Kwame Governs Agbodza, has slammed the government for imposing what he described as wicked taxes on the ordinary Ghanaian in the 2022 Budget presented by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, 17th November 2021.
Speaking to Lily Mohammed on the Morning Starr, Thursday 18th November, 2021 the MP stated that the main reason for the government to scrap the road toll and replace it with E-levy is because motorists will not tolerate any increment adding “so the easy way to do it is to target the most vulnerable who do not have a voice.”
According to the MP, the E-levy would not only affect the driver, rather the driver’s household would be affected by the new tax regime the government is introducing.
“The new E-levy is just wickedness. Sitting in parliament, I could see a government that is so desperate and doesn’t care about the people. Wherefrom this confusion that poor people can only transact MoMo up to GHC100. Sitting in parliament listening to the finance minister, I think the government has run out of tricks and now they are doing their tricks in front of us.
“The reason for the removal of the road toll has nothing to do with congestion. We still have toll booths in advanced countries, but they are automated. The money we get from road tolls a year is not a lot of money. Also, I’m concerned about the people who work at the tolls as well as persons living with disability who engage in the toll collection,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Minister for Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, has revealed that the government is likely to raise over Ghc500 million a month from the newly introduced E-Transactions levy.
The Communications Minister added that the government is also likely to raise over Ghc9 billion annually from the newly introduced e-levy.
Speaking on GH Today on GHONE TV on Thursday, November 18, Mrs Ekulful said the decision to introduce the E-levy is a more robust and prudent way to raise revenue for the development of the country.
According to her, the majority of transactions and businesses have moved online and it is important that attention is paid to that sector to generate the needed revenue.
“So if you are looking at bulk payments, cashouts, person to person transfers, wallet to bank transfers, as of October we are looking at about Ghc11 million, if you are looking at the merchants, debit payments, sending, transfers, transfers to vouchers and the cashouts we are looking at Ghc440 million.
“If you are looking at GHIPSS, and merchant payments and direct debit payments and organisations paying to customers and paying bills and sending money we are looking at Ghc45 million so in total it is possible for the government to get about Ghc500 million from this in a month.”
Reading the 2022 budget on Wednesday, November 17, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Attah said to compensate for the abolishment of road tolls, the government is looking to introduce innovative ways of raising revenue such as the proposed 1.75% phone transactions levy payable by mobile money users per transaction above GHC100.
He said this will help the government to shore up revenue inflows to fund road projects in the country.
“Total value of transactions for 2020 was estimated to be over GHS 500 billion Cedis compared to GH¢78 billion Cedis in 2016 just 5 years ago, while total mobile money subscribers and active mobile money users have grown by an average rate of 18% and 16% respectively between 2016 and 2019. Mr. Speaker, it is becoming clear there exists the enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the “shadow economy”.
“After considerable deliberations, the Government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector. This shall be known as the “Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy.”