Politicians, parliamentarians, academics, investors, entrepreneurs, civil society organisations and, indeed, taxpayers in Ghana have been debating the proposed introduction of an ‘Electronic Transaction Levy’ or ‘E-levy’ in recent days, following presentation of the 2022 Budget Statement to Parliament by Minister of Finance Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, on November 17, 2021.
The debate on the justification, fairness and utility of the E-levy is at an impasse, and positions have become polarised. Road and Bridge Tolls have been abolished by the budget to focus on the 1.75% E-Levy (now amended to 1.5.%).
The question one may ask is which one will Ghanaians Cherish Most?
To either choose the re-Introduction of road tolls or accepting the E-Levy it is important to understand and know the Pros and Cons of each.
The E-levy is a new tax measure that will be applied only on the originator of a transaction on an electronic platform. Electronic platforms include the following; fintech platforms, online banking and momo platforms.
Advantages Of E-Levy
It is believed that taxing mobile money transactions will help to generate a lot of revenue for the government to use for many initiatives.
Also, it will ensure that the informal sector that doesn't pay tax will do so.
Disadvantages Of E-Levy
Many people are of the view that, E- levy will seriously cripple the digitalization agenda aimed at making paperless or cashless transactions.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has been pushing for electronic transactions all this while. The increment in taxes on the Mobile Money Transactions, will discourage people from using it and rather resort to banking using the traditional paper cash.
Lastly many people see the E- levy as increment of burden on the poor and ordinary citizens. Citizens are really feeling the impact of the Covid-19 and Introduction of E-Levy at this time seems difficult to cope with.
Road and Bridge Tolls
Road tolls are the fund collected from drivers of various vehicles as a form of tax to help in maintaining roads and other infrastructure development.
1. It generated employment for many people or Ghanaians. People have been employed to be collectors of the fund. Also, many street hawkers and vendors sell their food items and other trade items there.
2. It generated funds for the government to use in infrastructure development.
It is believed that toll booths causes traffic which delays a lot of road users.
Both Road tolls and E-Levy have their share of spoils but it seems the avoidance of road toll will have significant negative economic repurcussion. Unemployment rate will slightly increase as those who earn their daily meals from Toll booths will loose that.
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