Political activist, Bernard Mornah, has described government’s e-levy policy as an act of ‘pickpocketing’.
According to him, the levy will heighten the levels of hardship in the country, thus the need for it to be discarded.
He therefore stated that he and his colleagues will continue to picket at the premises of Parliament until the policy is finally thrown out.
Speaking in an interview on Top Story on Thursday, he reiterated his reservations about the initiative, and called on the Members of Parliament to fight against its implementation.
“We are creating public awareness on the dangers that e-levy will bring if they decide to go ahead. One thing that people must know is that, it is not everything that the government wants to do that it must succeed in doing; and that the citizens have a right to determine what policies are beneficial, and what policies are inimical. E-levy is an extortionist attitude of our government. I have described it as our government officialising pickpocketing.
Because if you ask them what are they taxing? They’re taxing your income directly. They’re attacking your savings. They’re taxing what you have already paid taxes on and above all, they’re eating into your working capital. Go and look at all the principles of a good tax, and you’ll see that e-levy has not fallen near any of them.
So let our government be informed that this pickpocket tax that they’re bringing about, will be defeated by mass action”, he emphasised.
Since January 25, Bernard Mornah and other members of the ‘Justice 4 Ghana’ advocacy group, have been picketing at the precincts of Parliament, to mount pressure on MPs to cease the promulgation of the E-levy Bill into law.
Commenting on the essence of the picketing, Bernard Mornah said the exercise has gained international recognition, thus an affirmation of its relevance. He also added that, the main frontage of Parliament has been locked with Police presence, due to the protest by members of ‘Justice 4 Ghana’.
Meanwhile, Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu has defended government’s decision to impose a 1.75% levy on all electronic transactions in the country. Addressing a townhall meeting at Koforidua on Thursday, the Ablekuma West MP stated that, the e-levy is comparatively lower than the rate of digital taxes in other jurisdictions like the United Kingdom.
According to her, if Ghana wants to mobilise enough revenue to enhance development, citizens must be willing to embrace the 1.75% e-levy.
“In 2008, the government of President Kufuor, introduced the Communications Service Tax in August of that year, and it became another source of income for national development. That tax was introduced at a rate of 6%, which was later increased to 9%. E-levy is being introduced at the lowest rate for any tax in Ghana, comparatively at 1.75%. Less than 2%. In other countries, digital taxes are being introduced at the rate of up to 10% and they’re paying.
That’s the UK. And we go there and seek loans from them to finance our development. When we are not paying the requisite taxes that we should”, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful stated.
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