The Member of Parliament for Techiman North Constituency, Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, has urged the government to encourage citizens to go cashless rather than handle physical cash for transactions.
Speaking on the opposition towards the passage of the electronic levy (E-levy), Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare indicated that government would rather incur cost in printing new currency denominations since people will keep their physical cash instead of being taxed the E-levy hence, the need to go cashless.
“What will happen is that because of these taxes, people will keep their monies in their purse, it will get dirty, government will use good money to print new ones again. So, I don’t see which economic sense it makes for you to be taxing people for doing the right thing.”Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare
According to the Techiman North MP, the initiative by government to tax the monies in the mobile money wallets of citizens is not fair. She advised government to rather reward people for putting their monies in their mobile money accounts instead of taxing them.
E-levy, lazy way of taxing
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) lawmaker intimated that she isn’t against government taxing the people but doing it through the e-levy, is a lazy way of taxing.
“Sorry for my choice of words but this is a lazy man’s approach in taxing the people. If the government has taxed already and is taxing you again, then what is the government doing? You cannot tax an amount that you have taxed already.”Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare
The Techiman North MP explained that the money which one transfers on their mobile money is not profit but rather one’s salary which has already been taxed by the government and as such shouldn’t be taxed again.
“The Telco’s will use their system to transfer; they will tax the money, then the government will tax the Telcos. The vendor will also take a tax and then the government is also going to tax that is 1.7 [percent]. This amounts to double taxation.”Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare
According to Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, carrying money around is no more fashionable and as such the most elegant way to carry money is electronically.
“So, if I keep money in my wallet, I should be compensated for keeping money in the system. The money in my bag is not available to the bank but if its on my account or wallet, it’s still in the system for the banks to use. Its like savings; I know that you are compensated for savings and you are not punished for savings.”Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare
Commenting on why the passage of E-levy has faced such tough opposition from the NDC, she averred that it will not be fair for they as MPs, who have been tasked to represent the people to look on unconcerned while the taxed money of the citizens are being taxed again in the name of “more money”.
“The MoMo is an electronic purse so the same money on my MoMo is what I give to people. Now, it’s not even safe to be carrying money in a cashless society.”Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare
Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare indicated that since government wants to protect the cedi, the most elegant way to help citizens protect their money is to help them keep it electronically.