The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, believes the e-levy will give Ghanaians more of a moral right to demand their due from the government.
In the government’s latest town hall to convince Ghanaians to embrace the unpopular levy, Mr. Ofori-Atta said the e-levy would also be a step towards “the Ghanaian dream.”
“Once you pay taxes, you will have the moral authority to be able to require certain performance from the political elite, and that is what we should be doing.”
“Our call to you is to let your MPs know that beyond all of this the Ghana dream will require that we are all part of this burden-sharing…to build our country,” the minister said.
The government has also defended the levy as being necessary to widen the tax net.
The government expects the levy to provide an extra GH¢ 6.9 billion to execute developmental projects in 2022.
According to the budget, up to 0.25 percentage points of the 1.75 percent e-transaction levy or 16.7 percent of the yield from the levy, should be used to support road infrastructure development.
Ten percent of the 0.25 percentage points, i.e. 1.67% of the yield from the levy, would be dedicated to improvements in public transportation, including the purchase of buses.
Mr. Ofori-Atta further said his government, which has been criticised for prolificacy and corruption, would do its “best to restrain leakages.”
“We also looked at our fiscal consolidation, in which we then said that we were going to try and reduce our deficit in a way that enables us to get a lot more resources for that.”
“We will be reminded to ensure that we use this money well, and the issue of protecting the public purse becomes paramount to us,” Mr. Ofori-Atta said.
The e-levy, now pegged at 1.5 percent, was introduced by the government in the 2022 Budget on basic transactions related to digital payments and electronic platform transactions.
It is to apply to electronic transactions that are more than GH¢100 on a daily basis.