The #FixTheCountry Movement has declined an invitation from the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to join its protest against the controversial Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy).

The letter was delivered to the Movement on Friday, February 4, 2022, to join the demonstration scheduled for Thursday, February 10.

However, the Movement, in its reply, stated that it will instead want to build a multi-sectoral and non-partisan coalition against the levy.

“We also have on several occasions expressed concern over the fact that the government has not taken any measures aimed at cutting down expenditure, waste and the penchant for profligacy among our political class.

“We have also expressed consistent frustration that governments after governments continue to borrow money for projects which they then abandon like the Saglemi housing project, after stealing the project funds through well-designed corruption vehicles. As you all know, no single person in Ghana has been jailed or surcharged for any abandoned project in this country, no matter their political party.

“In light of these, we think that the time has come for us to build a multi-sectoral and non-partisan coalition against the E-Levy. #FixTheCountry is committed to leading that process,” parts of the statement read.

However, the social advocacy group encouraged all political actors, including the NDC, to continue to oppose the E-levy.

“We think that the NDC can effectively cripple the government’s agenda in Parliament if they maintain their commitment to the course, without settling or negotiating away the people’s opposition to the levy,” the statement read.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, presenting the 2022 budget on Wednesday, November 17, announced that the government intends to introduce an electronic transaction levy (e-levy).

The levy, he revealed, is being introduced to “widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector”. This followed a previous announcement that the government intends to halt the collection of road tolls.

The proposed levy, which was expected to come into effect in January 2022, charges 1.75% on the value of electronic transactions. It covers mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances. There is an exemption for transactions up to GH¢100 per day.

Explaining the government’s decision, the Finance Minister revealed that the total digital transactions for 2020 were estimated to be over GH¢500 billion (about $81 billion) compared to GH¢78 billion ($12.5 billion) in 2016. Thus, the need to widen the tax net to include the informal sector.

Although the government has argued that it is an innovative way to generate revenue, scores of citizens and stakeholders have expressed varied sentiments on its appropriateness, with many standing firmly against it.

Even though others have argued in support of the levy, a section of the populace believe that the 1.75% e-levy is an insensitive tax policy that will deepen the already prevailing hardship in the country.

source:myjoyonline.com

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