Agitations on 2022 Budget goes beyond introduction of E-Levy, says Kumbour

Several meetings between the Minority and Majority sides of Parliament to find common ground on the 2022 Budget ended inconclusively

Dr Benjamin Kumbour, a former defence minister has said the agitations against the government’s 2022 Budget Statement goes beyond the introduction of the electronic transaction levy (E-Levy) of 1.75%.

Speaking to Beatrice Adu on The Big Bulletin, Wednesday (8 December), Dr Kumbour noted that the relative hardship in the country has a major contributing factor towards the criticisms of the E-Levy and the overall rejection of the budget.

“That particular levy I can tell you is just a metaphor for a bigger issue. The bigger issue is the relative hardship in the country. So, people will always look for the weakest link as the basis or point of reference. But I think it’s an amalgamation of so many things within the economy that is generating this whirlwind of agitation.”

“And the ordinary people will always reduce it to ‘things are difficult’, everybody says that but they’re just picking the idea of the E-Levy which is not too novel but because of its prominence now,” he stated.

Dr Kombour said the E-Levy is a form of double taxation due to the existence of the Communication Service Tax (CST) will affect the digitalisation agenda that the government has been working hard to implement.

He stated that the “resemble situation of paying tax on the same type of transaction twice is going to affect the policy because you can’t run two conflicting policies. The digitalisation policy in which you’re encouraging us to go cashless but at the same time you’re taxing the cashless activity and when you do that, both policies cannot succeed, one will have to fail,” he added.

However, Finance Minister Ken Ofori- Atta has said consultations are still ongoing to factor in the concerns of stakeholders on the implementation of the E-Levy.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday (6 December), Ofori-Atta said despite concerns about the E-Levy, it still represents the government’s greatest opportunity to broaden the tax net.

Nicholas Brown

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
Follow us on Twitter: @asaaseradio995

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