Ghana’s Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has acknowledged the country’s poor economic situation.
Due to a shortage of cash, he claims, the country is currently unable to conduct or maintain developmental initiatives or impose salary increases.
Ken Ofori-Atta, speaking at a Government Town Hall meeting in Wa on Monday, February 21, emphasized the need of Ghanaians accepting the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy) in order for the government to address income gaps and expand development.
“Take teachers and civil officials, for example. I’ll be the first to say that their salaries are pitiful; no one can deny it. At the same time, Ken Ofori-Atta noted that “60 percent of all the revenue we gather from 700,000 people [goes into wage payment].”
“There is a reasonable need for more, and there is a legitimate reality that there isn’t any.” So, as a society, what do we do? Then you want me to increase your income, which is good; however, your colleague civil employees are responsible for collecting the money, so how can you be responsible for collecting the money, not collect it, and then urge me to give it to you? “That will be a different matter,” he continued.
Since the E-Levy was announced, the government has maintained that the tax is vital to raise GH6.9 billion in revenue for Ghana in 2022.
Although a decision on the E-Levy has yet to be made in Parliament, the Minority caucus has pledged to vote against it, claiming that it will cause greater difficulty for ordinary citizens.
A broad cross-section of the public has also expressed displeasure with the tax measure’s implementation.
The E-levy is a new tax on basic transactions connected to digital payments and electronic transactions that was proposed by the government in the 2022 Budget with the goal of expanding the tax net and raising revenue.
If passed, the tax will levy a 1.75 percent fee on all electronic transactions worth more than GH100 every day (24 hours).
This will include, among other things, mobile money payments, ATM withdrawals, and inward remittances.