The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has taken a swipe at the Minority in Parliament over their double standard in opposing the controversial E-Levy bill in Parliament.
Speaking at a townhall meeting on the economy in the Upper West Region on Monday (21 February), Ofori-Atta said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) also had plans in their 2020 manifesto to introduce a tax similar to the E-Levy.
“In a world that E-commerce is going to be the order of the day, what is the reason for any of these MPs to say ‘no whatever argument you have, we won’t do it’, and then I go and look in their manifesto on page 99 and they have something called uniform fees which will look at taxing all electronic transfers in their own manifesto,” Ofori-Atta said.
“So what are they doing, (a) they don’t want us to get jobs, (b) they want us to go to the IMF, to what effect? So, that really is my story. Are we here as a proud nation, courageous and strong to take this burden, what is the IMF giving – the last time they did was one billion dollars in a programme of three million a year for three years.”
“E-Levy as small as you might think it, will be GHC 7 billion starting this year if we had started early, so we could pay your district assembly common fund, but they are sitting on it,” Ofori-Atta said.
He therefore questioned the continuous opposition of the E-Levy by the Minority in Parliament.
“And if I look at Upper West [Region] of where we have 11 constituencies of which we have Nandom, Lambussie and Tumu, and we have 340,000 people within the age bracket of 15 and 35 with serious issues of unemployment and with eight of our MPs coming from the NDC.
“What reason will they have to stop an E-Levy which is looking at GHC10 billion intervention called YouStart to get at the issue of employment. You hate NPP all you want, but what about your 340,000 youth who need jobs, where is the republic versus policy…,” Ofori-Atta said.