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E-Levy not bad, Ghanaians simply don’t want to pay taxes – Gabby

A leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party, Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has stated that the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy) is not a bad tax measure.

In a series of posts on his social media handle on Monday June 27, the lawyer lamented that the E-Levy since its passage in May this year has failed to live up to government’s expectation, in terms of delivering needed revenue.

According to him, the tax measure has only managed to deliver on 10% of the estimated revenue target.

“After 5 months of stalemate and bashing, the e-levy, after implementation, is delivering only 10% of estimated revenues; our revenues remain very low as compared to the rest of the world; debt levels dangerously high, cedi, like most currencies, struggling against the US dollar,” Gabby tweeted.

While hinting at an IMF bailout programme option available to government, Gabby was quick to add that “I am not for an IMF program that throws peanuts at us but imposes conditions that will end up hurting the poor, jobs and businesses more.”

In a separate tweet however, the co-founder of Danquah Institute stated that despite the E-Levy not delivering on expected revenue, it does not make it a bad tax but rather Ghanaians are responsible since they do not want to pay taxes.

“If the e-levy is so far not bringing in the estimated revenues, it does not mean it is a bad tax. It means Ghanaians simply do not want to pay taxes,” Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko tweeted.

The E-Levy was passed and signed into law by President Akufo-Addo in March despite fierce opposition from a cross-section of Ghanaians, the Minority in Parliament, civil society organizations, and various stakeholders.

The government believes the tax measure is necessary to close revenue gaps and help address the nation’s revenue mobilization and economic management, even though many have criticized it as regressive and one that would reverse progress made toward a cashless economy.

After a five-month impasse in Parliament, it was passed in late March 2022. But the levy’s projected revenue for the 2022 fiscal year had to be revised from GH¢6.9 billion to GH¢4.9 billion.

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