Political satirist Kwame A Plus has said the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) must stop its crusade against the proposed 1.75 per cent e-levy since the same party will justify its need and even increase the rate should it come to power in the future.
“Those leading the anti-e-levy crusade should stop that. I have friends in NDC and NPP and nobody influences the way I want to think. Those leading the anti-e-levy thing [should stop it]”, A Plus told Paul Adom-Otchere on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana recently.
In his view, just as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in government is introducing new taxes, the NDC, which is kicking against the e-levy currently, introduced even more taxes.
“Between 2008 and 2016, there was an increase in VAT from 12 per cent to 15 per cent in 2014. There was an imposition of 5 per cent VAT on real estates in 2014. There was an imposition of 17 per cent VAT on pharmaceuticals other than retail ones. There was the abolition of the 3 per cent flat rate. There was the imposition of 17.5 per cent on financial services. There was the imposition of 17.5 per cent on auction and promoters of public entertainment”, he listed.
“The most annoying one was [the imposition of] 17 per cent [VAT] on businesses of gyms and spa”, he noted.
“There was the imposition on capital gain tax on petroleum operations”, he added, noting: “… All of these were introduced. They were very good. I support it. I don’t remember one time where I was against any tax”.
At the time, he said “the government of the day [NPP] was against most of these taxes and campaigned with these and then came to power”.
“These guys [NDC] will make all the noise about e-levy, will come to power and the same people will come and sit here [and justify it]. E-levy will be increased”, he said.
“NDC will come to power and increase e-levy”, A Plus predicted.
“When NDC comes to power, they will not abolish e-levy. Somebody will sit on this show and explain to you why e-levy is now very important”, he stressed.
A Plus’ observation comes a day after political pundit Ben Ephson accused the NDC of being hypocritical about the e-levy.
According to Mr Ephson, if the passage of the E-levy will make the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) unpopular, why would the NDC not support it and capitalise on it to win the next election.
Speaking to CTV’s Nana Yaw Adwenpa in an interview, Mr Ephson said: “The NDC is being hypocritical”, adding: “If e-levy is not good and it will make people poorer, if I’m an NDC strategist, I will say: ‘Let them pass it and I will use the harsh effect to campaign against NPP to lose the elections.’ Are you saying you love NPP more than yourselves? It’s a lie. For NDC’s Bagbin to say if NPP passes e-levy, they will lose, then allow them to lose.”
The pollster stressed: “The NDC is being hypocritical, I’ve met NDC people who are enlightened and they suspect there is something in the soup.”
“We’ve got two more years to elections, they know if e-levy is passed, NPP will get money for development otherwise I don’t understand their resistance,” he added.
The government hasdecided to tax allelectronic transactionsin the informal sector to cover the tax net.This was contained in the 2022 budget statement and economic policy that was read in theparliament of Ghana. 1.75% is the rate of the E-levy which the Government has decided to apply on all transactions.
Some Ghanaians are against the levy claiming it does not serve the interest of the common people.
Some economists have also asked for the proposal to be reversed, claiming that it will jeopardise the government’s digitalisation efforts and plans to introduce a digital currency.
The NDC has taken an entrenched position not to support the levy in any way describing it as daylight robbery.
In December 2021, a brawl broke out in parliament due to the disagreement of the E-levy bill.