Youth must urge MPs to pass E-Levy - Ken Ofori-Atta

BY: Kweku Zurek
Youth must urge MPs to pass E-Levy - Ken Ofori-Atta

The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta has urged Ghanaian youth to encourage their Members of Parliament (MPs) to pass the E-Levy bill when it is presented before Parliament next Tuesday (February 1, 2022).

According to Mr Ofori-Atta, the taxes raised from the E-Levy bill would be used to resource the GH₵10 billion YouStart initiative which aims to create 1million jobs in the next three years.

Speaking to GraphicOnline on the sidelines of the New Year School and Conference on Wednesday, January 26, at the University of Ghana, Mr Ofori-Atta said it was very imperative that the E-Levy is passed.

"The YouStart programme expects to get a billion cedis each year from the government taxes and then two billion from our development partners and financial institutions and another five billion from the banks.

"So, it's really imperative that we pass the E-Levy bill so that we will resource the appropriation to enable us to do this.

"I think the indignity of our youth not working is something that we have to confront and it is going to get even more difficult going forward and therefore turning the nation into an entrepreneurial nation becomes something that we can't hide from. So, I am expecting that the youth will encourage their parliamentarians to pass it and then we should be able to move forward".

Consultation with Telcos

In a keynote address on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, at the 73rd Annual New Year School Conference, Mr Ofori-Atta further disclosed that the telecommunications companies had agreed to reduce their charges by 0.25% to reduce the overall net impact of the 1.75 per cent E-Levy on subscribers.

He said the 1.75 per cent was informed by an assessment of prevailing fiscal constraints and the need to pursue transformative interventions such as the YouStart and infrastructure delivery.

"Any enforced reduction of this rate will mean a loss of planned revenue, which will result in either additional borrowing, more expenditure cuts and a higher deficit. Without a corresponding reduction in expenditures, this will seriously undermine our fiscal position. In the face of current agitations from public sector workers for increased compensation, any case for a downward review of the 1.75 per cent needs to be seriously scrutinised and accompanied with corresponding expenditure rationalisation.

"Whilst we believe that this a fair share to be paid, our ability to demonstrate the capacity to mobilise substantial domestic revenue through this progressive tax will signal our collective resolve and strength as a resilient nation.

"Fortunately, and after extensive consultations, the Telcos have agreed to reduce their charges by 0.25% to reduce the overall net impact of the levy on subscribers. This complements the GH¢10 billion commitment from the financial sector as well as the development partners which I previously alluded to".