Some economists have warned that the introduction of the levy will defeat government’s digitalisation drive and plans to roll out the digital currency – E-cedi.
However, speaking in an exclusive interview on Asaase Radio, Afenyo-Markin said: “For me, we need this E-Levy for a long time. We need the roads… so as for a means to get funds to sustain the maintenance and expansion, it is a necessary evil.”
“But if you tax and tax properly and identify the proper tax to impose and you spend that money for people to see the benefits thereof, trust me, you can always win an argument.
“Because now with the 1.75% levy all that Ghanaians expect in spite of the complain would be to see that works are going on in their various communities and they are seeing increasing spate in the way work is being done, that they are seeing contractors back to site, for me that could be the game-changer,” Afenyo-Markin told Wilberforce Asare.
The Effutu MP believes the introduction of the levy is strategic.
“When you earn your income and government is of the view that imposing a levy or tax on a particular income will not be nuisance and the purpose of it will be to deal with a critical sector of the economy, I think it is on point and it is right to do so.”
Mobile money charges to go up 1 February
The government has decided to place a levy on all electronic transactions to widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has said.
Presenting the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy in Parliament on Wednesday (17 November), Ofori-Atta said the new charge will be known as the “Electronic Transaction Levy or E-Levy”.
“Electronic transactions covering mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances will be charged at an applicable rate of 1.75%,” Ofori-Atta said, “which shall be borne by the sender except for inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient.
“Mr Speaker, this new policy comes into effect from 1 February 2022. The government will work with all industry partners to ensure that their systems and payment platforms are configured to implement the policy.”
As of January 2021, 38.9% of the population aged 15 years and more had a mobile money account in Ghana.
The share of mobile money users increased over the previous three years but decreased slightly in 2021 from 39% in 2020.