Ghanaians are not ready for the E-levy – Political analyst

Ivan Kyei Innocent - Political Analyst and Social Commentator

A political analyst and social commentator Ivan Kyei Innocent has strongly stated that Ghanaians are not ready for the electronic transaction levy commonly referred to as the E-levy; a new tax policy the government of Ghana sought to introduce in the 2022 fiscal year.

Speaking in an interview with the host of the Active Morning Show Agyenim Boateng Adjaye on Thursday, February 17, 2022, the vocal and hard-hitting social commentator elaborated reasons why Ghanaians are not ready for the new tax.

When asked about his general overview of the E-levy, he replied, “E-levy, the conversation Ghanaians have around the E-levy is not something secret, it is a discussion that is in the public. You heard the level of agitations people met this particular E-levy, clearly over the years when issues come you see the politicians who discuss the issue but this time even persons without the scope of politics; ordinarily, they don’t do politics, they get involved because the kind of economic hardships it will bring to them. So if you go to the market, the market women all add their voice to it[the conversation].

“So the general view is that Ghanaians are not ready for the E-levy because over the years if you look at the money we got in the space of about seven or five years now and the government cannot point at a single project that commiserates the amount of money we got in this country; monies we got in this country, the taxes we collected, the loans we took and if we ask what did we use the money for and nobody can point that we used the money for this particular project.”

Mr Kyei Innocent furthered that “When the Health Minister[Kwaku Agyeman-Manu] appeared before Parliament they asked him since you came[assumed power] five years ago what hospital[district hospital] did you build he said is CHPS compounds that they built”.

However, the person they[NPP] government branded as incompetent did better in that regard according to Mr. Kyei Innocent.

He added, “But the person they branded as incompetent, that is the erstwhile Mahama administration his appointees’ salaries that they collected and built CHPS compounds around, that person was branded incompetent. So the competent one that came and got such revenue, people expect something that is massive than the Legon Hospital. Something bigger than the Ridge Hospital. Something bigger than the Pokuase Interchange. But if there is absolutely nothing to show for, definitely Ghanaians will resist. So it is not taxes that Ghanaians don’t want to pay but they are very much aware that the money when we collect it we will not use it for anything meaningful that is why Ghanaians are resisting it,” he concluded.

The Electronic Transaction Levy otherwise known as the E-levy is a new tax the government is seeking to introduce. This was revealed when the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta presented the 2022 Economic Policy and Budget Statement to Parliament in November last year.

It has received wide condemnation and even resulted in the exchange of blows between the two groups in Parliament prior to Parliament going on recess in December. The bill though having been massively rejected by Ghanaians is still being pursued by the government with townhall meetings now being organized to sensitize people on the need to subscribe to the tax that is expected to rope in about GHS6.9 billion Ghana cedis in 2022.

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