Minority spokesperson for Finance and Member of Parliament (MP) for Ejumako Enyan Esiam, Hon. Casiel Ato Forson, says the group will stand with Ghanaians and fight against Government’s new introduction of levies on mobile money transactions.
According to him, the NPP government is insensitive to the plight of the already suffering Ghanaian.
He was speaking to the press moments after the 2022 Budget presentation by the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta.
Addressing the media, Hon. Ato Forson accused the NPP government of failing to exlpore other means of widening the tax net and expreesed worry that going by the proposed economic policies outlined by the current administration, Ghanaians should expect a grim yuletide this year.
“How do you remove road toll to tax the already burdened Ghanaian on mobile monies? We want to send this fair warning to our brothers on the majority side that we shall not agree with their intentions to tax the poor Ghanaian.
“Infact, this is going to be one of the worst christmas ever in this country as prices of comodities are going to skyrocket with the removal of 50% bench mark values on essential products,” he added.
1.75% MOMO Levy
Government, on Wednesday, scrapped the amount of money being paid by motorists as tolls on public roads in the country.
This was announced by the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta in his presentation of the 2022 budget statement and economic policy to Parliament.
Explaining the rationale behind the scraping of the road tolls, the Minister said the revenue that accrues to the state for the construction and maintenance of roads is inadequate and hence, the government has to look elsewhere to equitably generate revenues for the construction and maintenance of our roads.
“Over the years, the tolling points have led to heavy traffic on our roads and lengthened travel time from one place to another, impacting negatively on time and productivity. The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities.
“To address these challenges, the Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately after the Budget is approved. The toll collection personnel will be reassigned. The expected impact on productivity and reduced environmental pollution will more than offset the revenue forgone by removing the tolls,” he added.
The Minister said to compensate for the road tolls, the government is looking to introduce innovative ways of raising revenue such as the proposed 1.75% electronic transactions levy.
He said this will help the government to shore up revenue inflows to fund road projects in the country.
But the Minority believes this will burden an already stressed public.
Hon. Ato Forson questioned why despite increased suffering and hardships, government is introducing this new levy, moreso in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are hearing that they are going to introduce electronic transaction levy which is going to affect mobile money transaction and bank transfers as well as remittances . . . We think this is not acceptable and we will advise ourselves when the time comes.
“Again, we are seeing that they are going to introduce a special tax on mobile money, we have served notice through our Minority Leader that the Minority caucus of Ghana’s Parliament will stand by the ordinary Ghanaian in opposing the mobile money tax,” he said.