Blame NDC MPs also if momo tax is approved – Financial analyst to Ghanaians

Approval of the 2022 budget statement which was presented to Parliament by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta on Wednesday November 17, will require the support of lawmakers from both sides of the house to do so.

Therefore, if the tax on mobile money transaction (E-levy), a policy proposal that has met heavy opposition from a section of Ghanaians, is approved by Parliament, the National Democratic Congress Members of Parliament should also be held liable, not only those on the government’s side.

Those were the words of a Fiscal Policy Specialist at Oxfam, Dr Alex Ampaabeng.

In his view, the NDC have appreciable numbers in the legislature to reject the proposal if they are truly concerned that this is going to lead to hardships.

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His comments were in reaction to the criticism against the policy proposal by the National Communications Officer of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi.

Sammy Gyamfi had said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday November 20 that the government is only punishing Ghanaians for their own recklessness following the introduction of this tax.

“They are punishing Ghanaians for their on recklessness,” Sammy said among other things.

Speaking on the same show. Mr Ampaabeng who is also against this particular tax stated that if Ghanaians wake up and this levy has been pass it has the concerns of both parties.

“That is the first point that I want to make,” he said and further urged Sammy Gyamfi to call on their legislators to do the right thing regarding this tax.

He further indicated that the tax is going to counter the government’s agenda of ensuring a cashless system because people will now have to resort to relying on cash transactions.

Due to the hue and cry over this policy proposal, Energy Minister Dr Mathew Opoku said a lot of education is required on the e-levy that has been introduced in the 2022 budget statement.

Speaking on the New Day show on TV3 he said the levy affects specific transactions, not all.

“The implementation is going to come with education, not everything that is affected. For example less than hundred cedis transaction is not affected. There is a lot of education that needs to be done,” the Manhyia South MP told TV3’s Johnnie Hughes on Thursday November 18.

His colleague lawmaker for Ningo Prampram, Samuel Nartey George for his part, said the government did not engage the telecom companies before announcing the introduction of the tax on mobile money services in the 2022 budget statement.

“Let me state for the records that the government has not engaged any of the service providers in the telecoms space on how the draconian ‘digital tax’ would be implemented. How do you announce a tax when those to implement it & be affected by it are left in the dark? Clueless bunch,” he said in a tweet.

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He added “The NCA and the Ministry of Communications are now inviting Telcos and Service providers in the space to a meeting on Friday to discuss implementation of a policy announced in the budget? Such a clueless bunch of managers. Post facto thinking.”

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced a new levy to be charged by government in 2022 on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

“It is becoming clear there exists enormous potential to increase tax revenues by bringing into the tax bracket, transactions that could be best defined as being undertaken in the ‘informal economy’,” Mr Ofori-Atta observed on Wednesday, November 17 as he presented the 2022 budget statement in Parliament.

“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’.”

He explained that the new E-levy will be a 1.75 per cent charge on all electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances to be borne by the sender except inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.

This will, however, not affect transactions that add up to GH¢100 pr less per day.

“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.”

This new levy is scheduled to start Saturday, January 1, 2022.

In 2020, total value of transactions was estimated to be over GH¢500 million with mobile money subscribers and users growing by 16 percent in 2019.

According to a Bank of Ghana report, Ghana saw an increase of over 120 percent in the value of digital transactions between February 2020 and February 2021 compared to 44 percent for the period February 2019 to February 2020 due to the convenience they offer.

This was definitely heightened by the advent of Covid-19 especially during the lockdown.


Read also: We’ll stand by Ghanaians to oppose MoMo tax – Minority

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