A Civil Society Organization, STRANEK-Africa has urged the government to save the huge sums of the taxpayer’s money being spent to organise the Electronic Transfer Levy Town-Hall meetings.
Following the presentation of the 2022 Budget Statement to Parliament by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta on November 17, 2021, there has been debate on the fairness of the proposed introduction of an Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy).
According to STRANEK-Africa, since the announcement by the government, there has been what it describes as the polarization of the levy by politicians, parliamentarians, academics, investors, entrepreneurs, and of course taxpayers of Ghana.
STRANEK-Africa added that it’s aware of the explanation from the government of Ghana about the tax-to-GDP increasing from 13% to 16% or more if Parliament approves the E-levy.
“And how there has been an opposition from Members of the Minority in Parliament, a section of the populace and experts that 1.75% tax is a tool to intensify the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian which Covid-19 has already impacted. We have also observed keenly the discourses written and spoken about the necessity and justification of the contentious E-levy so far by the government and the efforts being made through town hall meetings.
“So far, the meetings have been held in Koforidua, Takoradi, and Tamale and we believe that too much funds are being spent on E-levy Town Hall Meetings which could be saved since the government is in dire need of revenue,” the Executive Director for STRANEK-Africa, Nii Tettey Tetteh advised the government in a statement seen by Starrfm.com.gh.
He continued “When we take a closer look at the cost of the venue, publicity, fuel for Ministers of State, Accommodation, transportation for participants, the media, branding of the venue, refreshment et cetera, it is estimated at GH₵ 89,400 per town hall meeting according to our research. Little drops of water they say, make an ocean hence those monies could be saved to resolve the lingering financial issues facing the country which seems to rise day after day.”
The Executive Director, therefore, suggests that the government should hasten slowly with the series of town hall meetings and resort to other means of addressing the people of Ghana with regards to the concerns of E-levy.
“Some other means Government can resort to in order to address the public is the use of the media and information centers across the country, Municipal or District Chief Executives as well as assembly members talking to people within the district, municipality or electoral area among others,” he added.