Former Member of Parliament (MP) for Ayensuano constituency, Samuel Ayeh-Paye, has assured Ghanaians that the Akufo-Addo government will utilize the e-levy to their benefit.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta disclosed, in his presentation of the 2022 budget, that the government has initiated the e-levy to ensure all electronic transactions are taxable beginning next year.
“After considerable deliberations, 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.’ Electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances will be charged at an applicable rate of 1.75%, which shall be borne by the sender except for inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient”
“Mr. Speaker, to safeguard efforts being made to enhance financial inclusion and protect the vulnerable, all transactions that add up to GH¢100 or less per day (which is approximately GH¢3000 per month) will be exempt from this levy,” he expounded.
He outlined what the levy will be used for, stating, “a portion of the proceeds from the E-Levy will be used to support entrepreneurship, youth employment, cyber security, digital and road infrastructure among others. 3y3 Baako, Ye nyinaa bey tua. Mr. Speaker, this new policy also comes into effect (once appropriation is passed) from 1st January, 2022. Government will work with all industry partners to ensure that their systems and payment platforms are configured to implement the policy”.
However, there are counter-arguments about the relevance of the e-levy.
The Minority in Parliament contends that it will worsen the hardships of Ghanaians, so disapproving of the e-levy.
Speaking on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ programme, Mr. Ayeh-Paye shared dissenting views stressing the e-levy will not be misused nor go to waste.
He opined that this is a good move to ensure infrastructure development in Ghana.
He believed many Ghanaians dread paying the e-levy because they feel it might not be put into good use but gave them assurance that the government “will be truthful to Ghanaians with the e-levy. We will prove the things that we will use the money for”.
He challenged Ghanaians to hold the government accountable saying, “let every Ghanaian mark it; we’re going to expand the road infrastructure. We are going to support an entrepreneurship drive. Unemployment is a national security issue for this country . . . we plead with Ghanaians to accept this e-levy”.