Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, has revealed how two top government officials convinced him to accept the electronic transaction levy (e-levy).
These officials, according to him, were the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta and Minister of State at the sector, Charles Adu Boahen.
Speaking at the launch of the Ghana Telecommunications Chamber’s 10th anniversary in Accra on Thursday, he said it all happened about a week ago.
“On E-Levy, a week ago, I was no, no, no, we won’t accept the E-Levy but having listened to officials in government, including the Minister of Finance and Charles Adu Boahen, I was convinced to accept a departure of my original no to accepting a 1 per cent E-Levy for the good of the Ghanaian people,” he said.
Mr Iddrisu, who is also the Tamale South Member of Parliament, noted though he will have difficulty convincing his constituents on the levy, he accepts responsibility for the outcome, adding it was for the good of the country.
“And therefore if the government is able to make overtures and reach out and say that we want to peg the electronic levy at one per cent, I would have a difficulty convincing my constituency but I take full responsibility because that should be our contribution to fiscal consolidation and our contribution to ensuring that the economy doesn’t collapse on any of us going into the future,” he added.
Describing it as double taxation, he cautioned the government not to overburden citizens.
In his view, the levy should be imposed on mobile money and other electronic transactions that exceed GH¢300, adding he initially wanted it to be from GH¢500.
A 1.75% tax on electronic transactions was announced by the Finance Minister, Mr Ofori-Atta, during the 2022 budget presentation on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.
Mr Ofori-Atta explained the levy is to increase tax revenue for the country, adding that it is occasioned by the surge in mobile money transactions during the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020.