- Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has warned against opposition to the E-Levy, stressing that it would work against investor confidence
- At a press briefing today, Mr Ofori-Atta singled out the Minority MP's resistance to the passage of the tax proposal as a major source of worry
- The Minister also outlined a raft of expenditure cuts aimed at mitigating the hardship in the economy
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The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has cautioned against the strong opposition by the Minority Members in Parliament on the E-Levy, warning that it is bad for investor confidence in the economy.
At a press briefing on Thursday, March 24, 2022, to outline the measures taken by the government to mitigate the current economic challenges, Mr Ofori-Atta said the Minority’s opposition was also affecting the government’s efforts to implement critical programmes.
The passage of the controversial E-Levy remains a major sticky point in Parliament as the Minority and Majority take a hardline on the tax proposal.
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While the Minority is opposing the tax proposal because it will worsen the economic hardships on Ghanaians, the Majority are backing the government to pass the bill.
Apart from the Minority, many civil society organisations have kicked against the bill that will charge a 1.5% flat tax rate on some mobile money and electronic transactions.
At the press briefing, the Minister also disclosed that the government has decided to cut back on spending by placing a moratorium on the importation of vehicles for government appointees.
Mr Ofori-Atta also disclosed that a moratorium has been placed on all foreign travels for government appointees.
Furthermore, government expenditure has been cut further by 10% after an initial 20% reduction, bringing the total cut in government expenditure to 30%.
The Finance Minister also revealed that fuel coupon allocation to government appointees have been reduced by 50%.
Government Cuts Cost Of Housing Units By Half Amid Economic Hardships
The government has announced a 50% cut in the cost of housing units under the Affordable Housing Project.
A post on the official Twitter handle of the presidency explained that the move is to ensure housing is affordable for the average earning Ghanaian.
A news report linked to the post on Twitter quotes the Minister for Works and Housing stating that the government was pushing the price of a housing unit at about $20,000 and $25,000 instead of at $100,000 to enable the majority of Ghanaians to afford it.
Government Determined To Pass E-Levy Tax Policy Despite Backlash
The government remains resolute to pass the E-Levy bill despite the public opposition, stating in a recent post that it will support youth employment and entrepreneurship.
In a post on Twitter, the presidency stated that some of the proceeds from the 1.5% tax policy to be charged on some mobile money and electronic transactions will be used to support entrepreneurship and youth employment programmes.
On the evening of Tuesday, March 22, 2022, Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, gave a strong indication that the E-Levy will soon land in Parliament for possible approval when he said he was hopeful that the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) legislators would be in Parliament in their numbers when the bill is presented.
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