The Minority in parliament staged a walkout in parliament on Tuesday, 29 March 2022, minutes after Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta moved an unscheduled motion for the consideration of the e-levy bill.
“The object of this bill is to broaden the tax base of this country by imposing the levy on electronic transfer and enhance government’s drive for revenue mobilisation”, Mr Ofori-Atta said on the floor, adding: “The levy, which is expected to raise GH¢6.9 million in 2022, is a key mechanism that the government will use to ensure Ghanaians contribute their fair share toward the development of the country”.
“In the spirit of cooperation, the government has decided to reduce the rate of the levy from 1.75 to 1.5 per cent of the transfer”, he told parliament.
Mr Ofori-Atta noted: “At the consideration stage, I will bring the necessary amendments to reflect the changes”.
Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu, however, stressed his side’s objection to the bill and accused the government of sneaking it in.
“When the business statement was presented last week, it [e-levy] was not part of the business approved for the house”, he observed.
“We have warned time and again and cautioned that we do not want to be taken by surprise on a major economic policy of the government. Parliament cannot be that when a side is convenient with its number, then business can go on. It cannot be. We will not accept that culture. So, when they [Majority] did not have the numbers, they weren’t ready. Now, that they have the numbers, then you say we should do business”, Mr Iddrisu protested.
After a 30-minute break to deliberate on the matter with the Speaker, the Minority decided to stage a walkout.