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The e-levy is not the Akobam they promised; it has failed – Dr. Ato Forson

The e-levy is not the Akobam they promised; it has failed – Dr. Ato Forson

Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, says the implementation of the e-levy policy has failed woefully.

According to him, the failure of the tax policy to produce even half of what it was projected to generate within a month shows the extent of failure.

He is urging the government to immediately subscribe to an IMF programme before Ghana’s already harsh economic situation becomes direr.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, he said, “I have heard the government saying that we won’t do an IMF programme, but what are they doing? I have not seen the so-called homegrown policy. Is your homegrown the e-levy? Then you have failed.

“If the e-levy is the only homegrown that you have then I’m sorry to say this is a failed government because the e-levy has failed. And I say this because if you project to do revenue 475million Ghana cedis in a month and you end up getting 54 million then that is a gargantuan failure.

“I have never seen a tax policy that has underperformed so woefully than what I’ve seen. This is a classic example of a mother of nuisance taxes,” he said.

He stated that the abysmal performance of the e-levy policy is a blight on the record of the ruling party considering how full blown their marketing strategy had been to sell the idea to Ghanaians.

“Upon all the noise that we saw with the e-levy, the way you couched it, the way you marketed it, impressions that were created – at a point I even joked in parliament that it is going to cure the bald headedness of my colleague honourable Ablakwa – we were told that it was going to be the Akobam of this world, the modern day Akobam, it will solve every single economic problem. Today look at how gargantuan it has underperformed. This is a failed policy, let’s admit,” he said.

Dr. Ato Forson noted that he is, however, not surprised by the failure of the policy.

According to him, the government had failed to take into consideration certain key factors which today are contributing to the unviability of the policy.

“In fact I knew it was going to fail because the structure and design of the e-levy, it was bound to have the accident that we’re seeing. That the tax policy that was designed without factoring in the fact that there are some elasticities, without factoring in the fact that the demand may change because it’s a choice and obviously the rate at which you’re increasing the rate will mean that people will change their behavior towards that tax. I’m not surprised we’re seeing this.”

The MP for Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam stated that the e-levy will struggle to generate 600 million out of its projected 6.9billion Ghana cedis by the end of the year.

“Yes, you can tickle yourself and create impression that e-levy will perform going into the line but I can assure you that your 6.9billion that you have budgeted in the budget that you’ll get, you’ll struggle to even get the point nine, you won’t get the point nine.

“Your best will be 600million by the end of the year that will mean the e-levyu will underperform by 6.3 billion Ghana cedis. One year, look at the hole; tell me what you have to show us. I’ve not seen anything, maybe we’ll wait and see what the Mid-Year Review will bring,” he said.

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