• Thu. Aug 4th, 2022

E-levy will eventually gain support from the minority – Former NPP MP

ByEditor

Feb 14, 2022 , ,

Issah Fuseini, a former Member of Parliament for Okai Koi North, is optimistic that the opposition will eventually agree with the majority to pass the E-levy.

The E-levy, he claims, is necessary to help the government earn cash to fund development projects in the country.

“Our brothers (Minority) will eventually agree with us on the e-levy so that we may approve it,” he stated on Saturday’s Key Points on TV3.

The adoption of the E-levy has been contested by the Minority. They called it annoying and oppressive. The plan, according to Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, is a deterrent to the growth of the internet economy.

“Mr Speaker, obviously, we see that the Minister of Finance aims to introduce several measures, including the now commonly declared e-levy or digital levy as some have properly dubbed it,” he stated during a post-budget workshop in Ho on Saturday November 20.

“Mr. Speaker, our issue is whether the e-levy is and will be a deterrent to the expansion of our country’s digital economy. We believe that the e-levy may act as a deterrent to investment and private sector development in our country. We, the minority, may not be able to or will not support the government’s decision to implement that particular e-levy. We haven’t been able to reach a national consensus on that issue.”

Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), also advised the government to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) instead of relying on the E-levy.

Mr. Asiedu Nketia stated that the IMF is capable and prepared to assist Ghana in addressing its budgetary issues, but only under certain conditions.

He claims that the Akufo-Addo administration is afraid of the conditions that will rein in the administration’s irresponsible spending.

On Monday, February 7, he spoke on T3V’s New Day show with Johnnie Hughes about the benefits Ghana received when the NDC administration sought support from the Bretton Woods institution.

The NDC approached the IMF because of the challenges they were experiencing as a result of the Kufuor administration’s policies being implemented.

“In the final quarter of his presidency, he unveiled a single spine policy. When the NDC came to power in 2019, all of the workers indicated that if Kufuoir had been in office, he would have adopted a single-payer system.

“We worked through all of those issues and tried to apply the single spine throughout the first four years since the first four years were really chaotic for us.” Even the World Bank thought it wasn’t a smart idea, but we went ahead and did it. As a result, we ended up spending closer to 70% of the nation’s revenue on wages and salaries.

“This was not sustainable, so we decided to take action.” We summoned a forum in Senchi and opened the books…we did this, and eventually we went to the IMF, which assisted us in managing, so we went to the IMF program in 2026.”

He further stated that the NDC had cautioned the Akufo-Addo administration about the recurrent expenditure, claiming that it would balloon the debt situation.

“We kept warning that an increase in recurrent expenditure would lead to borrowing, and we wouldn’t be able to pay the loan’s interest,” he explained.

“I think it is something that they have to consider,” President Akufo-Addo said when asked if he should go to the IMF. If it’s the only thing that can get us out of this mess, the sooner the better.”

However, Ghana’s Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, has stated that the country will not seek assistance from the IMF in order to address the current economic issues.

He said a return to the Bretton Woods institution would have severe effects when he spoke at the 3rd Townhall meeting on the E-levy on Thursday, February 10 at the Radache Hotel in Tamale, Northern Region.

He also stated that Ghana was capable of increasing domestic revenue for development.

Mr Ofori-Atta, who had previously declared that the government would not return to the IMF, said, “I can tell you, as my colleague deputy said, we are not going back to the IMF, whatever we do.”

“The ramifications are serious, we are a proud nation, we have the resources, we have the capacity, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise… “We are not a short-sighted people; we must move on,” Mr Ofori-Atta stated.

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