Home Headlines Bawumia promises to obliterate e-levy

Bawumia promises to obliterate e-levy

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Dr Bawumia
Dr Bawumia

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has finally broken his deafening silence on the controversial electronic transfer levy (e-levy), stating categorically that he will abolish the widely criticized tax if elected President of Ghana this year.

He made the promise at his presidential campaign launch, where he deliverer his first major address to the nation after his election as the presidential candidate of the NPP, bringing two years of his deafening silence on e-levy

The controversial tax was introduced in 2022. Prior to the introduction, Vice President Bawumia had declared his opposition to levies on electronic financial transactions, particularly mobile money in a number of interviews.

His position had been that mobile money is a pro-poor service that drives financial inclusion, which is central to the government’s own digital Ghana agenda. So, placing a tax burden on users would only defeat the financial inclusion and cashless economy goal.

The vice president therefore minced no words in declaring his opposition to taxes on electronic financial transactions, declaring that he will abolish E-levy as president.

Dr Bawumia added that his bid for a digital and cashless Ghana, will be significantly boosted if E-Levy is abolished.

“To move towards a cashless economy however, we have to encourage the population to use electronic channels payment. To accomplish this, there will be no taxes on digital payments under my administration. The e-levy will therefore, be abolished,” he declared.

He also announced that his government would introduce what he described as a friendly, flat tax regime for Ghana, which will boost individuals and businesses, particularly small and medium-scale enterprises (SME’s).

“My administration will introduce a very simple, citizen and business friendly flat tax regime. A flat tax of a % of income for individuals and SMEs, which constitute 98% of all businesses in Ghana, with appropriate exemption thresholds set to protect the poor,” Dr. Bawumia indicated.

It is worthy of note that the Flagbearer of the NDC, former President John Mahama was the first to make a definite promise to abolish E-levy if elected as president in this year’s elections.

When he made the promise, spokespersons for the ruling government called him out as a dishonest, saying he once made a promise to abolish communication service tax (CST) if voted into power, but he rather increased the rate as president.

Meanwhile, Bawumia himself has been called out for making loads of campaign promises as the running mate of President Nana Akufo-Addo, a lot of which are yet to see the light of day.

So, going into the 2024 election, Bawumia and Mahama will go head to head on a honesty contest, particularly since they have both made the same promise – to abolish e-levy.

What is important is that the two promises, particularly that of the sitting Vice President is the biggest vote of no confidence in the Akufo-Addo-Ken Ofori-Atta obnoxious e-levy, which has so far failed woefully to yield even 10% of its target revenue.

In good time, questions will be asked of the investment made in building infrastructure to collect e-levy, whether that investment made will pass the value for money test.

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