Widespread criticism of the government is growing in Ghana after Parliament approved on Tuesday an electronic transaction tax, which the government says will help raise $900m in much-needed revenue
The E-levy bill, passed on Tuesday, will introduce a 1.5 percent tax on electronic money transfers and transactions. President Nana Akufo-Addo’s has said the move will help address problems from unemployment to the country's high public debt.
But for many Ghanaians, the tax represents yet another burden. as living costs heightened by soaring fuel prices due to the Ukraine crisis piles even more pressure.
Legislators passed the law after the opposition minority walked out of the debate on Tuesday.
To the Chief crusader of the crusaders against corruption in Ghana, Emmanuel Wilson junior, the action by the majority in Parliament signified the government's insensitivity to the plight of the people of Ghana.
"What took us aback was the fact that some individuals, including some members of Parliament, after the passage, made an argument that this was a birthday gift to the president. and we do not think that was the reason why we these individuals were elected to go and represent us in Parliament. The e-levy our position has been consistent, and the position is that it will not auger well for us as a nation".
Bill challenged at Supreme court
The convener for Justice for Ghana, Bernard Mornah, prayed the supreme court to stand by its earlier decision on parliamentary voting to save the country.
"They should remember that we have instability and democratic incongruence in Burkina Faso because the court has always been used to side with the executive. The Ghanaian court must rise above such so that we do not fall into the kind of gamut of political instability that is overtaking us in the sub-region".
He also urged the president to sack his economic team: "If you look at the unjust economy that we have today, what it tells you is that those who are leading the affairs of the economy have been if you want, sub-standard. Therefore, the minister for finance cannot continue to hold office".
But for many Ghanaians, the tax represents yet another burden. "I send money to my siblings every month meanwhile the salary, they are not even increasing our salaries" Bridget Kumi-Pinkra a sales representative in Accra said. For Albert Baah Eshun a student in Accra measures like this should be implemented gradually so that everybody will buy into it.
"It is time we all jump on board to develop our country .." he added.
Ghana has been struggling to revive its economy which has been badly affected from the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The west African nation reopened its land and sea borders this week after a two-year closure.