Ghana Politics

We’ve not changed our position on ‘regressive’ 1.75% e-levy – Minority

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Caucus in Parliament has reiterated its opposition on the e-levy after it said the government rejected a compromise.

In a statement, the caucus maintained that the levy is “regressive, punitive and draconian.”

Though it said it has been open to negotiations with the state, the NDC caucus said “the government side out-rightly rejected our proposal for a revision of the E-levy leading to a breakdown of the discussions.”

The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, had indicated that his side would accept a reduction of the proposed e-levy from 1.75 percent to 1 percent.

But a statement signed by Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak, said: “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,” Muntaka stressed in the statement.

The contentions over the levy, among others, led to a drawn-out process in approving the 2022 budget, in which it was first rejected, then approved following different boycotts by both sides of Parliament.

The Minority wanted the levy to be suspended and for the government to engage stakeholders to agree on a reasonable policy before moving forward with the 2022 budget.

The levy will exempt daily transactions of a cumulative value of GH¢100 or less, per person.

In the budget, the recommended date for the levy to take effect was January 1, 2022.

According to the budget, up to 0.25 percentage points of the 1.5 percent e-transaction levy or 16.7 percent of the yield from the levy, should be used to support road infrastructure development.

Ten percent of the 0.25 percentage points, i.e. 1.67% of the yield from the levy, should be dedicated to improvements in public transportation, including the purchase of buses.

Find below the full statement from the NDC Caucus in Parliament

THE POSITION OF THE NDC CAUCUS IN PARLIAMENT ON THE 1.75% E-LEVY PROPOSED BY GOVERNMENT IN THE 2022 BUDGET STATEMENT.

The NDC Caucus in Parliament wishes to assure Ghanaians that it 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.

For the avoidance of doubt, 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.

Signed,
Hon. Muntaka Mubarak
MP for Asawase and Chief Whip.

Credit:Citinewsroom.com

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