Many mobile money users in the Bolgatanga township say the one per cent E-levy on all transactions will impose more hardship on the vulnerable and make many avoid using the service.
Following the proposal of one per cent of Electronic Levy on all transactions, including Mobile money, in the 2023 budget, presented to Parliament, some Momo users expressed worry about it adversely affecting the poor and vulnerable.
Mr. Ken Ofori Atta, Finance Minister, in his presentation of the Budget, said, “the headline rate of the E levy will be reduced to 1.0 per cent from 1.5 per cent of the transaction value alongside the removal of the daily threshold of GH¢100.00.”
The Minister said the levy which was introduced in the 2022 budget was meant to help the government mobilize domestic revenue but ‘’has not yielded the resources as expected”.
He said the government had received several proposals for the review of the levy and the one per cent reduction was part of a ‘‘seven point agenda aimed at accelerating the country’s economic transformation’’.
However, Mr. Joseph Ayinbono, a retired teacher, told the Ghana News Agency that the one per cent of E- levy on all transactions would worsen the plight of the already suffering citizenry.
“ notion of the threshold of GH¢100.00 was to cushion the vulnerable because people who do transfers within that bracket are poor, so what is the sense in now telling me today that you will tax me if I’m even sending, say GH¢5 or less, that means more of hardship in this difficult time,” he said.
“Look, I have two daughters in different Senior High schools, so unlike before when I used to send GH¢100.00 to each and would not be charged for E levy, I will now be charged plus MTN charges on both transactions, so calculate one per cent of GH¢100 in each transaction and see, it is pure deception and must not be approved,” he added.
Mr. Adongo James, an online trader, said: “Sell sneakers, T-shirts among others online and most of my customers pay via Mobile Money and delivery is made to them, and as you know, we are rational consumers, so much that one can refuse an item of GH?201 because of the GH¢1 and this one per cent when approved will affect demand and throw me out of business eventually.”
Ms. Fathia Iddrisu, a mobile money vendor, said the patronage of Mobile Money declined when the E levy of 1.5 per cent with a daily threshold of GH¢100 was introduced and the new proposal would further mar the business.
‘’It is not news that we as vendors were badly affected as some of our colleagues folded up and even now it seems it would be worse considering the economy, imagine the fear alone when people hear that they will be taxed on any amount, so it will affect our business” she stated.
In July 2022, government reduced the revenue expectation of the levy from a projection of about GH¢7 billion to GH¢611 million following noncompliance.
From Gilbert Azeem Tiroog, Bolgatanga
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