Former Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, says the government’s introduction of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-levy) bill has resulted in an unnecessary resentment amongst the country’s body politic.
He said the country has further been “polarised” by the Majority Leader’s E-Levy cake for his 65th birthday celebration.
“It is in pursuance of the foregoing objectives that this article examines and discusses the heightened polarization of the nation arising from Mr Kyei Mensah-Bonsu,” Martin Amidu said in an article on Saturday.
The former Attorney General opined that the current intense disagreement over the E-levy bill was deepened after what he said was seen as an opulent, arrogant, and insulting 65th birthday celebration by the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu by designing an E-levy cake.
“The “Mr Kyei Mensah Bonsu’s E-Levy cake for his 65th birthday” celebration provides the immediate context for understanding the public comments and reactions that led to the arrest and detention of a known political adversary of the Government’s policies, Mr Oliver Mawuse Barker-Vormawor,” he noted.
Martin Amidu contended that the government under the disguise of coup mongering has gagged and intimidated persons opposed to the E-levy from exercising their constitutional rights and freedoms to free speech.
“Mr. “Kyei Mensah-Bonsu’s E-Levy cake for his 65th birthday” celebration has also led to other citizens being gagged and intimidated from exercising their constitutional rights and freedoms to free speech and thought on pain 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 safety of the state,” Martin Amidu said.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, during the presentation of the 2022 budget announced that government intends to introduce an Electronic Transactions Levy (E-levy).
The Levy, he revealed, is being introduced to “widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.”
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.
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.