Dr. Louis Asiedu, a Statistician, has intimated that the introduction of the e-levy is too early to the country’s digitization agenda since the agenda itself is at an early stage.
Commenting on the recent controversies around the introduction of new taxes in the 2022 budget, particularly the electronic levy tax (e-levy), he averred that the e-levy could as well be problematic to the government’s economic digitalization agenda.
“The digital drive we’ve all subscribed to is obviously a good avenue to tax Ghanaians and release some revenues for the development of the nation, which is perfect. The fact is we’re in the early days yet in pushing the digitization agenda, and people have not even come to full terms with the need for the nation to go the digital way. Therefore, if it comes at this early moment with taxes, then it implies that, all these things were done to put a lot of people in the tax net to tax them”.Dr. Louis Asiedu
Dr. Asiedu averred that the rate of 1.75 % tax on the e-levy was excessive and suggested that a reduction to 1% could be suitable. He stressed that the ordinary Ghanaian would be relieved should they see their taxes being put to work. He added that the taxing might not be the problem, but questioned what exactly is done with the revenues on these taxes.
“Immediately, people have to see a better change, road networks, hospitals and more infrastructure development. Some of these taxes are early days yet and I urge them to slow down a little. We need to start small and see how it works but 1.75% is too high. As an early day policy, start small, do a pretest and see the reactions from Ghanaians”.Dr. Louis Asiedu
Citizens must see taxes being used
Dr. Asiedu noted that with the monies taken from these taxes, government should make the people understand what they’re used for and let them feel the impact in their lives. He stated that people should see that there has been improvement in health services, quality of education, good road networks and improvements in their lives.
“When these things are done, you wouldn’t have to push further. Anytime taxes are increased, Ghanaians won’t feel reluctant and willing to contribute”.Dr. Louis Asiedu
Speaking on the recent sit down strike by the commercial drivers, he posited that everybody in the country is contributing their quota to aid in the development of the country and as such must be appreciated. He stated that people don’t appreciate the effect of the services of the individual until they are withdrawn and as such suggested the need to review and restructure policies well to bring relief.
“Sometimes, harsh decisions like the strike have to go on and it’s very difficult to take. What they did with the blockades and withdrawing their services, we felt the impact. We need to make the ordinary Ghanaian who is contributing so much to the economy feel a little bit relieved”.Dr. Louis Asiedu
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