E-levy is electronic highway ‘armed robbery’ – Ayariga

Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, has tagged the proposed introduction of the electronic transaction levy (E-levy) as highway robbery.

According to him, the E-levy of 1.75% on the value of digital transactions is essentially a tax on capital.

He argued that in the desperate attempt to siphon more money from an already impoverished Ghanaian society, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government has ‘literally mounted a blockade on the electronic highway to rob innocent Ghanaians.’

Hon. Ayariga who took his turn to contribute to the 2022 budget debate in Parliament on Thursday explained, “Electronic transaction taxation is essentially on capital. Yes, it is a tax on capital.”

“Let me explain to you in very simple terms. When I carry my money from Bawku to Techiman to trade in a bus, I take a number of risks. Armed robbers could rob me on the way but if they don’t stop me, I will get to the Techiman market with my capital intact.”

“What government is seeking to do is that there’s another highway, which is the electronic highway and when I am carrying my money on that highway government will take 1.75%.”

“So Government has turned itself into an armed robber on the electronic highway and when I am carrying my money on that highway, it takes 1.75% of that money without doing anything for me,” he said.

According to the Bawku Central lawmaker, that is a tax on capital because the government has not rendered service to warrant taking 1.75% of the electronic transaction.

He noted that government can tax capital gains and sales on electronic media but cannot tax money that is being conveyed.

He warned that is a most dangerous policy instrument that should not be tolerated.

Mr. Ayariga averred the proposed E-levy on a behaviour (electronic transactions to promote a cashless society) that the government wants to encourage is Policy Stupidity.

“You want to encourage a certain behaviour and yet you are taxing that behaviour.”

He noted that Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia delivered a lecture about the government’s efforts on digitization to encourage people to engage in electronic transactions and yet the administration is turning around to rob people on that platform.

“What kind of policy is that,” he queried?

What do you think?

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