Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), says the Party is not against taxation despite the opposition to the e-levy on mobile money (MoMo) transactions, remittances and bank transfers.
At a public forum by the Party on the theme, “What the 2022 budget means for you as a Ghanaian”, he said taxes were critical in generating revenue for the country’s development, but they must not burden the people.
“We are very conscious about what type of taxation and how that taxation is implemented because if you put in taxation measure that works to put the greatest burden on the people who are already sinking, then you are not helping to build a welfare society,” he said.
“Since we started attacking this budget, there’s been a misconception that NDC is against taxation and the propaganda has gone to even indicate that we are nation wreckers.”
“I want to let everybody know that NDC is not against taxation. Indeed, our philosophy is based on taxation; we believe in redistributive justice and taxation is a means of achieving redistribution of wealth in the country,” Mr Nketia stated.
On the e-levy, he said, “the MoMo tax in this budget is not going to help Ghanaians, particularly the vulnerable ones who bear the problems that have been brought about by this COVID-19, which the government has mentioned all along in the budget presentation.”
“We believe that it [e-levy] is rather going to burden the vulnerable ones who must be entitled to some protection in this time of difficulty. When it comes to government expenditure, we also believe that to each, according to his needs. So, when you are taking the money, from each according to his means; then you are distributing to each according to his needs,” he added.
He said the foundation of the 2022 budget was “wrong” and that the NDC through the Minority Caucus in Parliament would at the Committee level deploy all legal means to ensure that the interest of Ghanaians was considered.
Mr Nketia said, “We are at the stage that we will revisit the approval or non-approval of the principles of the budget. Whatever happens, we still stand firmly by our initial position. We have agreed with our members of Parliament that boycott is not an option. So, we will be present and undertake our key responsibility of holding the ‘elephant’ accountable.”
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Leader of the Minority Caucus in Parliament, said, “We are convinced that the e-levy may as well even be a disincentive to investment and a disincentive to private sector development in our country.
“We in the minority may not and will not support government with the introduction of that particular e-levy. We are unable to build national consensus on that particular matter.”