E-levy has caused needless acrimony in Ghanaian politics – Martin Amidu

Martin Amidu, a former Special Prosecutor, claims that the government’s implementation of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy) law has created unneeded resentment among the country’s political class.

 

 

He said that the Majority Leader’s E-Levy cake for his 65th birthday party has further “polarized” the country.

 

“This paper investigates and explores the heightened division of the nation emerging from Mr Kyei Mensah-Bonsu in pursuit of the foregoing aims,” Martin Amidu wrote in an article published on Saturday.

 

The current acrimony over the E-levy bill was exacerbated, according to the former Attorney General, after the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, celebrated his 65th birthday by designing an E-levy cake, which he described as lavish, arrogant, and disrespectful.

 

“The celebration of Mr Kyei Mensah Bonsu’s E-Levy cake for his 65th birthday gives the immediate background for comprehending public comments and reactions that led to the arrest and incarceration of Mr Oliver Mawuse Barker-Vormawor, a known political opponent of the Government’s policies,” he said.

 

Martin Amidu said that the government has barred and intimidated opponents of the E-levy from exercising their constitutional rights and freedoms to free expression under the cover of coup d’état.

 

“Mr. “Kyei Mensah-E-Levy Bonsu’s cake for his 65th birthday” celebration has also resulted in other citizens being gagged and intimidated from exercising their constitutional rights and freedoms to free speech and thought on the threat of being arrested and detained without bail at the behest of hawks and operatives of the government under the smokescreen of coup mongering or first-degree felony offences against the state’s safety,” Martin Am

 

During the announcement of the 2022 budget, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta announced that the government planned to establish an Electronic Transactions Levy (E-levy).

 

He explained that the Levy is being implemented to “enlarge the tax net and bring in the informal sector.”

 

The planned Levy, which is set to take effect in January 2022, imposes a 1.75 percent fee on the value of electronic transactions.

 

It includes payments made with mobile money, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances. For transactions up to GH100 per day, there is an exception.

 

Despite the government’s claims that it is a novel approach to collect revenue, a wide range of residents and stakeholders have expressed mixed feelings about its appropriateness, with many strongly opposing it.

 

Despite the fact that some have spoken in favor of the Levy, a segment of the population believes that the 1.75 percent E-levy is an insensitive tax policy that will exacerbate the country’s already dire situation.

 

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