The Member of Parliament for Builsa South Dr. Clement Apaak has posited that the position of the Minority on the E-Levy would not change.
He said the position of the Minority was simple and clear which is for the government to scrap the levy.
He was reacting to a press conference addressed by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta on Monday, December 6, 2022.
The Minister at the press conference said the government was prepared to continue engagements with the minority in parliament and other stakeholders including mobile network operators on the proposed 1.75% E-levy introduced in the 2022 budget statement.
He said, “having regard to its serious fiscal implications, we will continue our consultation with the minority caucus in parliament and other relevant stakeholders with the view to achieving consensus and reverting to the house in the shortest possible time.”
He reiterated that the tax to GDP ratio in Ghana is one of the lowest on the continent.
This he noted calls for ways to improve upon it to bring it to par with the average ratio on the continent.
“E-levy represents our greatest opportunity to in the medium term broaden the tax base and meet the tax to GDP ratio of 20% as pertains to our peers.”
He further added that the government would ensure that people do not evade ten E-levy if the implantation starts.
“We shall also ensure that measures will be taken to avoid attempts at evading the e-levy taxes. The proposed e-levy tax is largely progressive, and we have intentionally set the GHS 100 threshold covering about 40% of MoMo users, mindful of the need to exempt vulnerable groups while continuing to encourage the development of our nascent digital economy,” he noted.
But the legislator says the position of the Minority has not changed and will not change.
He said as far as the minority was concerned, there was no budget currently before the House for consideration.
“Folks, the stalemate in Parliament is NOT about the e-levy. Our position on e-levy has not changed, NO E-levy. Our Caucus has issued a statement to that effect.
As far as we know there is NO budget currently before Parliament, let alone its contents. We say the budget is rejected, they say the budget was not rejected, until this is resolved we are going nowhere.
They can lay a new budget, we are ready, either than that, there is nothing to discuss.
Position of the Minority
The Minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawaase Muntaka Mubarak in a statement issued on December 3, 2021 clarified that their side will continue to use every legitimate and lawful channel to resist the 1.75% E-Levy government is seeking to impose on the ordinary Ghanaian.
He said the position of the NDC Caucus in Parliament right from the outset of the 2022 Budget debate has been that the 1.75% E-Levy government is seeking to impose is regressive, punitive and draconian, and that same must be suspended.
“The Minority Caucus has vigorously championed this position in Parliament and in the media space to draw Government’s attention to our demands.
Subsequent to our rejection of the Budget on 26th November, 2021, government has sought to engage the NDC Caucus in a series of discussions towards finding an amicable solution to the impasse.
Surprisingly despite the good faith demonstrated by the NDC team recognising the importance of the Budget to the economy, business and households, the government side out-rightly rejected our proposal for a revision of the E-levy leading to a breakdown of the discussions.
We wish to state unequivocally that no concrete decision or agreement has been reached between government and the NDC Caucus in Parliament on this matter.
As we speak, government’s so-called concessions are unknown to us and we have no clear indication that they intend to seriously consider any of the proposals that have come up.
Under the circumstance we wish to state that the NDC Caucus will maintain its original position as stated earlier,” the statement added.