VIDEO: E-levy is a pickpocket tax – Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa

Honourable Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa
Honourable Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee cum Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency Honourable Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has described the Electronic Transfer Levy as a pickpocket tax and daylight robbery tax introduced by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s led government.

According to the Lawmaker, the E-Levy is the most unpopular government policy in Ghana’s history since independence.

Speaking at the Tuesday’s Holiday Edition organized for the three Tongu Members of Parliament at Sela Radio monitored by Coverghana.com.gh on 3rd May, 2022, the North Tongu MP said, the E-levy is the most regressive, punitive and obnoxious tax ever introduced in the entire history of Ghana.

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Mr. Ablakwa explained that, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in principles is not against taxation, that, nobody comes to government using his/her own money for developmental projects.

He clarified saying, Government collects taxes for developmental projects like construction of roads, supply of potable drinking water, building of schools, electrification projects among many. That notwithstanding, the E-levy is pickpocket tax, because, according to the principles and the laws of taxation, before taking taxes, individuals are basically expected to use the money on a business and not to tax monies saved on persons wallet.

In reference to the Electronic Transfer Levy Act, when you receive money on your own mobile money wallet, government taxes users of 1.5% on all electronic transfers/transactions.

He said, initially, the Bill presented to Parliament by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta was 1.75% but, Minority Caucus stood against it until it was reduced to 1.5% instead of zero percent as the long standing position of Minority Caucus.

Mr. Ablakwa also explained that, government is doing multiple taxation on Ghanaians hard earned money through the most regressive E-levy.

For instance, when two employees worked, where one person received cash amount of GH¢1,000 and other get paid same amount via electronic transfer into his/her Momo wallet, and decided to transact businesses such as payment of bills, and purchase of items etc, he/she get charged double aside the usual tax on the salary.

“Since the budget was read on 17th November, 2021 by Ken Ofori-Atta to impose an initial 1.75% E-levy on Ghanaians, as a party and opposition NDC in Parliament, we have since opposed the passage and implementation of the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy).”

“We have mounted five (5) solid months encounter. If not for our resistance, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s plans was to make sure the E-levy comes into force by January 2022.” He explained.

According to him, the allegations that, Minority Caucus in Parliament have taken money to allow passage of the punitive E-levy is false and must be disregarded.

He has therefore questioned naysayers that, why didn’t the Minority MPs take money since November 2021 till the time the E-levy Bill was illegally passed by 137 Majority MPs in Parliament. The MP again said,Majority MPs haven’t form a quorum to pass the bill.

He stressed that, there is a need to credit Minority MPs and their leaders with positive integrity for their efforts to resist the passage of the E-levy.

The Lawmaker noted that, there’s no way Minority MPs will take money to vote against their conscience or betray the very people who voted them into office.

Explaining further, Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said, prior to the passage of the Bill, he hosted a non-partisan town hall on the E-Levy under the chairmanship of Togbe Azagba at the Royal Masito Hotel, Mepe in his beloved constituency on 24th January, 2022.

After deliberations, the participants took a secret vote to determine what should be his mandate as MP. An overwhelming outcome of the results show that, those against E-Levy were 331 while those in favour were 4.

He earlier said in a statement that, with this unambiguous instruction of some 98.81%, the message from those who sent him to Parliament is absolutely no tolerance for the obnoxious E-Levy. This, he believes is the true essence of representative democracy.

“I have studied all surveys and polls from University of Ghana Business School to University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), interviews and others, l have never seen any Government policy which is so unpopular like the E-levy ever since l became active in politics. There is no way, we, the representative of the people will betray the very people who sent us to Parliament” He added.

“On the 29th of March, where the Minority Caucus staged a walkout, many people did not understand our strategy. On that day, NDC MPs were 136. We did that strategically. Because, the Assin North MP seat has been challenged on dual citizenship and the Minister for Justice and Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame has also filed a case against him. Due to that, he went to Court on that day with his Lawyers to defend the case, hence the decision to boycott the passage of the E-levy Bill.”

He has since described the current Judiciary under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as disgraceful in regard to the current track record. Mr. Ablakwa also jabbed Godfred Yeboah Dame saying he is not an MP, so he is not surprised he is confused on Parliamentary proceedings.

WATCH BELOW HON. SAMUEL OKUDZETO ABLAKWA’S FULL INTERVIEW HERE

SOURCE: Coverghana.com.gh

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