Former President John Dramani Mahama, has assured Ghanaians that if voted into power in 2025, his next NDC government will repeal the E-Levy Act and abolish the tax completely.
According to him, the E-levy is only a distortionary and burdensome tax that only forces Ghanaians to pay more while suffering.
This is a confirmation of an earlier promise by the General Secretary of NDC, John Asiedu Nketiah that the next NDC government will abolish the e-levy.
Addressing the nation on the theme ‘Ghana At A Crossroads’, on Monday, Mr. Mahama said, “unfortunately in the face of this self-inflicted economic catastrophe, this government against all sound advice has decided to introduce the E-Levy that heaps more suffering on Ghanaians.”
“A new National Democratic Congress government, God willing, with the votes of the sovereign people of Ghana, in 2025 will repeal the E-Levy Act,” he stated categorically.
The former President explained that even though the NDC is not against taxation, they will also not coin “fanciful” praises to condone it, adding that E-Levy is regressive and only seeks to overtax the people of Ghana.
“Let’s take for example, a worker gets paid in his electronic wallet, his Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax has been deducted already. For every transfer or purchase above GH¢100 he makes on his e-wallet, he has to pay an additional 1.5% multiple times he uses MoMo,” he stated.
Mr. Mhama said people will now be forced to use more cash than electronic transactions as part of their daily operations.
The former President added that it is even more saddening that the levy was implemented on May Day, when workers were supposed to be celebrated.
The e-levy which kicked in on Sunday, May 1, is expected to see 1.5% levy on selected electronic money transfers. It does not affect other electronic transaction such as airtime purchase, cash out, wallet loading and even transfers to merchant wallets belonging to businesses captured in the system of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
The tax, according to the government, is part of its efforts to generate revenue for development. The tax is expected to rake in close to GH¢4.5 billion for the country.
The tax was first introduced in the 2022 budget and was received with a widespread public criticism across the entire country. In the midst of very loud public outcry against the tax, government managed to get it passed in Parliament amidst very controversial circumstance, which is currently a subject of a lawsuit.
Again there is a pending injunction against the implementation of tax, sponsored by Minority Leader and two other MP, to be heard May 4, 2022.
Meanwhile, the implementation of the e-levy has been fraught with numerous challenges, including charging e-levy on amount less than GHS100, which is supposed to be exempted.
In some case, people have reported being charged as high as GHS1.5 for a GHS5 transfer, which is 30% charge.
Many Ghanaians also took to social media to mention how charges were made on transfers they made even themselves – that is another wallet registered with the same Ghana Card.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Revenue Authority says it will investigate and refund all wrongful deductions from customers’ mobile money wallets during the first day of the implementation of the Electronic Transaction Levy.
However, former President Mahama believes that even with government’s desperation to tax the people, their plans to develop the country with the money may not be realized.
“Because government’s own budget proposal shows that the e-levy will not make any significant contribution, in resolving our problems, but will exert an adverse toll on the people of Ghana,” he stated.
He added that the government has also been “wasteful” in their expenditure hence the public cannot also be made to pay more taxes only for the accruing money “to be dubiously shared among family and friends.”
“Even as this government remains fixated with taxing their way out of economic mismanagement, the Akufo-Addo government has been wasteful, they failed to demonstrate prudence in public financial management,” Mr. Mahama said.