NDC MPs Secretly Urged Government To Pass E-Tax – New Juaben South MP
New Juaben South MP Michael Okyere Baafi has alleged that minority members of Parliament urged their majority colleagues to secure the passage of the controversial electronic transaction tax (e-levy) bill .
Addressing residents of his constituency in Akan at a town hall meeting, Mr. Okyere Baafi noted that NDC MPs have publicly condemned the implementation of the bill just to play with the gallery.
According to him, the opposition party lawmakers fear losing their parliamentary seats in the upcoming general election, therefore, they reached consensus with the Majority privately.
“I am an MP and I sit every day with NDC MPs in Parliament. You watch me on TV every day. When you see NDC and NPP MPs on TV, we both agree.
“NDC MPs agreed that electronic debit is good. They tell us that we must be determined and ensure the passage of the e-levy because it will help us if it is adopted. But they can’t come and tell the public to accept the levy because if they tell you and come and ask for votes, they won’t be received.
“NDC MPs have asked us to urge the public to accept the bill. We parliamentarians are few in number and they are our friends. So please accept e-debit to help us all,” MyJoyOnline.com translated.
During his interaction, the MP for New Juaben South also indicated that if the Electronic Direct Debit Bill is withdrawn and the government resorts to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the free SHS policy will be scrapped.
“If we don’t pay the electronic tax and we go to the World Bank or the IMF for loans, they will ask Akufo-Addo to cancel the free SHS. It will affect your children, so you all have to accept the electronic tax and pay it so that it helps us all,” said Okyere Baafi.
Already, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has assured that Ghana will not seek a bailout from the IMF but will resort to an “in-house” alternative to revive the economy.
“I can say; we are not going to the IMF. Whatever we do, we are not… So think of who we are as strong and proud people, the shining star of Africa, and we have the ability to do whatever we want to do if we speak one language and ensure that we share the burden in the problems ahead,” the minister said at a public meeting in Tamale.
Since the introduction of the e-direct debit, the minority has publicly expressed its total condemnation and called on the government to reverse this decision.
The government proposed a reduction in the rate from 1.75% to 1.5% but the minority rejected the proposal.
Opponents of the fiscal policy have called on Ghana to sign up to an IMF program to deal with the current revenue challenges and investors’ concerns about the economy.
Some economists have argued that adopting e-direct debit is the solution needed to “fully restore” investor confidence and address revenue mobilization challenges.
According to a business joy report, the International Monetary Fund has indicated that it is ready to provide support to Ghana if the request is made.
This was in response to an email sent to the Fund by business joy on calls on the government to ask for help from the IMF to help stabilize the economy.
“As always, the IMF stands ready to support Ghana in any way deemed appropriate by the authorities,” the letter read.
Meanwhile, the government has indefinitely suspended the withdrawal and reissue of a revised electronic direct debit bill.