The Member of Parliament for Madina, Lawyer Francis-Xavier Sosu, has stated that the Minority caucus will not “compromise” on their position if the Government remains adamant on introducing the new taxes.
The comment of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP arose out of their rejection of the “Agyenkwa budget” on Friday November 26, 2021 after the Majority in Parliament, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), stormed out of the House over some misunderstanding.
The rejection of the budget comes as a response to the calls on government to refrain from introducing the 1.75% e-levy which affects mobile money transactions, bank transfers, merchant payments and inward remittances.
According to some individuals, civil society groups, and politicians specifically the NDC party, the new tax proposed will aggravate the plight of public precisely the poor and the vulnerable.
This is as a result of taxes that have already been levied on petroleum products including the price stabilization levy which stakeholders are opposed to because it is not serving its purpose, burdening the ordinary Ghanaian.
Lawyer Xavier Sosu who was speaking on Angel FM’s Anopa Bofoↄ morning show on Monday November 29, 2021 said if his side approves the budget then “we are not being responsible; we are not being responsive to the needs of Ghanaians”.
He argued that a policy like 1.75% e-levy which has the potential of negatively “affecting a huge majority particularly the poor and the most vulnerable, needs a broader consultation” and a “lot of background work” before the government can impose it.
On the floor of the House however, the sector Minister, Ken Ofori Atta called for engagement with the Minority pertaining to the budget and its implementation, but the NDC objected to it.
According to the Human rights lawyer, the NDC caucus is not ready to engage the Minister because per their consultations with experts in the field, none of them gave positive feedback on the introduction of the tax.
He said: “What happened after the reading of the budget was that almost every single resource person who is a professor or a doctor knowledgeable in the field made us [parliament] understand that how the government intends to introduce the new tax especially the e-tax will not inure to the benefit of the nation.”
“In our understanding from those seminars, government would have picked the signal so that they will do something about it, but this is the time he [Ken Ofori Atta] has come before Parliament and not said anything concrete about it” the MP added.
He stated that should the government engage all relevant stakeholders on the issues raised and reach a consensus, and “if the government is able to do something about it” then the government will get the support of the minority.