The opposition National Democratic Congress has, to some extent, demonstrated its stance on the government’s plan to levy a 1.75 percent levy on all electronic transactions in the eyes of the Ghanaian people.
While the opposition party’s minority side in parliament continues to oppose the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy), there appears to be some skepticism about the sincerity of their opposition and the motivations behind it.
Officials from the current government have accused the NDC of resisting the E-Levy, which is currently a bill before parliament, in order to boost the party’s chances ahead of the 2024 general elections.
The ruling New Patriotic Party has also accused the opposition of opposing the bill’s approval in order to prevent the current government from carrying out its obligations.
With the NDC adamantly opposing the E-Levy, citing a variety of reasons, including the current economic misery of Ghanaians, a crucial question has arisen as a litmus test for the party’s sincerity.
When Ghana returns to the polls in 2024, the topic of whether the NDC will see to the repeal of a legislated E-Levy is progressively gaining pace in the discourse around the law, with little to very little to no response supplied by the party.
While the party has been mute on the topic, the public got the closest to an answer when Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the NDC’s General Secretary, appeared on Okay FM’s Ade Akye Abia morning show presented by Kwame Nkruamah Tikese on Friday, January 28, 2022.
“Will the NDC see to its continued implementation or will it be cancelled or decreased alternatively if parliament votes on the E-Levy and it is put into law and it is sustained for years?” the host inquired.
Though there was an opportunity for the opposition party’s secretary to completely persuade critics of the party’s position on the E-Levy, Mr Asiedu Nketia was not precise in his response, other than to reiterate that the party does not support the tax policy?
“We haven’t even gotten there yet.” We’re saying the thing (E-Levy) isn’t good, so how does it come back if it comes and we gain power? We are requesting that they refrain from bothering us with it. They should go to the NPP MPs and ask for their agreement.
“They are the majority, and as the expression goes,’majority rules,’ so how can the minority be blamed for the bill’s failure to pass?” We are supporting Ghanaians who oppose the law. As a result, we claim that our 137 MPs will be unable to vote in favor of it. “Let your 138 MPs vote to ratify it if they want to,” he said.
The E-Levy bill is still a source of controversy between the majority and minority parties in parliament.
The minority’s decision to entirely reject the law has caused a stalemate in the government’s efforts to gain parliament’s approval for the bill, which was not included in the 2022 budget.
The administration has found it difficult to get the bill enacted due to a one-to-one difference in the number of majority and minority MPs, while discussions on the bill in the chamber of parliament have resulted in clashes between the majority and minority on several occasions.
The government is seeking to break through what it claims is a consensus-building exercise it is engaged in with the minority by resubmitting the bill to the parliament next week.
Meanwhile, the minority, on the other side, is resolute about not changing its mind.