We won’t need E-levy if gov’t cuts down expenditure – Ablakwa

National elections

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, says there will be no need for the introduction of the controversial E-levy should government cut down its expenditure in the 2022 budget.

Government introduced E-levy to undertake developmental projects.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday 17th November 2021, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Attah stated the tax will widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.

Addressing the E-levy in a Facebook post, the lawmaker said there are outrageous expenditure items that far exceed this revenue target and which can be shelved so that there will be absolutely no need for the government to recycle the obnoxious e-levy and re-present it in 2022.

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa also made suggestions on expenditure items that need to be cut in the budget.

According to him, The “elephantine” allocation of GHS3,130,633,000 to the Office of Government Machinery is almost half of the entire E-Levy projected collections and that The OGM has been an unbridled tax guzzler under this regime.

He also added that Prestige and sentimental projects such as approvals to construct a “Standard Stadium” each in Abuakwa South and Sunyani and then the construction of regional conference centres and theatres for creative arts contained at page 293 of the Budget, again do not reflect the times.

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“We need to have an objective discussion if considering current economic circumstances; we still need FIVE new university campuses for STEM? Can we not scale down to two or one and adopt an incrementalist approach when the economic horizon improves? Don’t forget double-track still plagues the education sector due to an acute lack of facilities.”

“As I made clear during the parliamentary debate on the estimates for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the intention to establish new diplomatic missions in Trinidad and Tobago and Mexico could wait for better times in the future. In any case, we can learn from Mexico, Columbia, Chile and Peru who all share one diplomatic mission in Accra as members of the Pacific Alliance. It is time to rethink the old dinosaur framework for establishing physical diplomatic missions in favour of a more modern smart diplomatic presence.”

“Clearly, if we get our priorities right by taking a hard and sincere look at public expenditure and eliminating blatant corruption, Ghana which according to World Bank data already has a high tax to GDP ratio of 12.2% compared with an average of 11.7% among our lower middle-income peers, we obviously wouldn’t need an obnoxious, divisive and regressive E-Levy,” excerpts of the post read.

Ghana | Atinkaonline.com | Vivian Adu | [email protected]

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