GHANAIANS ARE SHOCKED ABOUT THESE FACTS ON THE E-LEVY*
Counsellor Daniel Fenyi writes…
1. From 2016-2020, the NPP had a landslide majority of 169 MPs in Parliament and the opposition NDC had a minority 106 MPs. However, after the 2020 general elections, the tables turned. A whooping 32 NPP MPs lost their seats to the NDC, recording as the highest loss in the history of the Fourth Republic for a “ruling” government. Today, there is a parity 137 NPP and 137 NDC MPs. However, regardless of the heavy loss, the PRESIDENT, Akufo Addo, retained his seat, even though the 32 NPP MPs lost partly as victims of some of his (or his party’s) unpopular decisions, such as, among others, imposing Parliamentary candidates on delegates.
2. Today, there is another unpopular policy of the President, the e-levy. It’s obviously a “party policy”, and, as expected, NPP MPs and party foot soldiers are sheepishly championing, advocating and defending it with their ‘blood’ and perhaps, their 2024 SEAT. The irony is that, unlike 2020 where the President could re-contest the election and, therefore, be more mindful of his policies, he will/does not qualify to contest for elections in 2024. He’s enjoying his last term in office. Hence, he can only be as much mindful of his decisions and acts. Whether a policy is popular or not does not affect him in anyway. Technically, he has no “future” in politics anymore. He’s retiring from politics. He cares less about the (political) future. From the Presidency, he moves into Statesmanship. And, that’s it. His works can only be used against those who will come after him.
3. Why do you think experienced politicians and, arguably, the two most prominent NPP apparachiks, Bawumia and Alan Kyeremanteng, have remained absolutely silent on the e-levy? Bawumia has touted himself the “digitisation” expert in this country launching all sorts of “e-platforms”, hence, his stone silence on this particular “digital” policy must have a cause? Definitely, both Alan and Bawumia have “future” prospects in politics and they know the e-levy is a serious dark spot. Their years of experience and wisdom in politics have taught them to remain anonymous on such a politically expensive policy. In fact, any serious-minded person with a political vision beyond 2024 knows that the e-levy is a set up.
4. Those MPs who sit on TV, Radio, online platforms and other public spaces to advocate blindly for this e-levy initiative, be reminded that your constituents are watching you. Keep trading your SEAT for the anti-poor policy, you’ll join the 32 former NPP MPs soon. This advice goes to all MPs and party sympathisers, especially those from “swing” constituencies. Do not push the e-levy just because it’s a “party thing”. Just as Bawumia and Kyeremanteng do not support it, at least, publicly, you too be wise and do same. There are legitimate anger and sentiments in the system against the policy. Do not court unnecessary public hatred and apathy for yourself just to please a retiring president.
5. Even aside from the politics, this e-levy thing ankasa doesn’t just make any sense. It warps every logic on taxation. For example, taxes are generally paid on products or services. E-levy is neither a product nor a service tax. So what exactly is it? Basically, the e-levy takes money from people just because they choose to “save” their money k3k3. Where in this world are people taxed for “saving” their money? Gov’t argues that it’ll accumulate Gh¢6 billion from the e-levy to develop the nation, meanwhile, over the past 4 years, Gov’t has accrued Gh¢24 billion from
IMF – $2billion
World Bank – $100 million
Stabilization Fund by Mahama – $250 million
European Union – €85.6 million
Bank of Ghana GhC20 billion
6. Where are these monies? If Gh¢24 billion couldn’t transform Ghana, what can Gh¢6 billion do? In fact, the Auditor General’s report says Ghana lost over Gh¢12 billion to CORRUPTION in 2020 alone. You literally “throw away” Gh¢12 billion and rather “punish” citizens to pay Gh¢6 billion. Who does that? Who throws away his Estate only to perch in a single room? Joy FM has conducted a poll on their Facebook wall asking, “Will you support the e-levy if Ghana’s economy will collapse without it?”
7. At the time of writing this article, the poll had received 8.9k responses and about 94% of the respondents picked #2 (No). In another similar poll by the socialite Kaly Jay, responses received were 9,933 out of which 89% opted for “No”. Even bigger is the poll conducted by GhanaWeb where 38,200 responses were received. 91% of the respondents opted “NO”. This is the VOICE of Ghanaians. LISTEN TO THEM. The Education Minister has NOT died after “listening” to the Public and withdrawing the Semester system, you too you won’t die if you withdraw the e-levy. After all, the budget was a PROPOSAL meant to be either approved or disapproved. Ghanaians have disapproved it. Just withdraw. A word to the wise will be enough in 2024!
Counsellor Daniel Fenyi