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Gabby ‘signaling the next options for the failed Akufo-Addo regime’ – Manasseh

Investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni has labelled leading member of the New Patriotic Party, NPP, Gabby Otchere-Darko as a ‘sounding board.’

According to him, Gabby’s recent economic posts were meant to communicate – unofficially – the next stance of the government relative to the Electronic Transactions Levy (E-Levy) and the decision to go to the International Monetary Fund, IMF, or not.

“Gabby “Sounding Board” Otchere-Darko is at it again, signaling the next options for the failed Akufo-Addo regime,” Manasseh tweeted on June 27.

Gabby had on Monday posted a series on tweets about the economy, specifically lamenting issues around the E-Levy which was implemented in May.

He said, the tax measure implemented with the hope of turning the Ghanaian economy around, has generated less than GH¢60 million instead of GH¢600 million, has triggered many reactions.

“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…”

“What options are open to government? The question should rather be: what option, if adopted, will re-inject investor confidence in our economy? Even if we find the $3-5 billion required, will that help? E-levy which was to have given us some 600m by now has done less than 60m,” some of Gabby’s tweets read.

About the E-Levy

The E-Levy, 1.5% value tax on all electronic transactions above 100 Ghana cedi, was implemented by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on May 1. This was despite the numerous concerns a section of the public raised, including double taxation.

The government, however, argued that the policy was to enhance revenue mobilization, support entrepreneurship, increase Ghana’s tax-to-GDP ratio and provide an opportunity for everyone to contribute to national development.

After the policy was implemented, a number of people withdrew their monies while others ceased transactions.

A report by IMANI Centre for Policy and Education in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on June 24, 2022, said: “About 83% or 8 in ten respondents indicated that their volume of transactions has changed since the implementation of the e-levy in May 2022. Of this number, about 47% indicated that they had reduced the number of mobile money transactions by about 51% to 100%. Our findings suggest that the official 24% attrition rate, which the government estimates for the first three to six months following the introduction of the e-levy, is likely to be much higher.”

“This finding implies that the forecasted GH¢4.5 billion (GHS¢60 million per month) e-levy revenue target for 2022 is unlikely to be attained given the strong consumer backlash and people finding alternative means of undertaking financial transactions.”

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