Taxation is the only practical way for gov’t to generate revenue – Upper West Regional Minister

The Upper West Regional Minister, Hafiz Bin Salih, has indicated that no nation around the world has been able to develop without taxation.

He said the only practical way for governments to generate revenue for development is through taxation.

Speaking at the Government’s 4th townhall meeting on the E-levy in the Upper West Regional Capital Wa, on Monday February 21, he said “No nation the world over has developed without taxes governments imposed charges on their citizens and businesses to raised revenue which is then used to meet budgetary demands.

“Without taxes,” he said “governments will be unable to meet the needs of their society. Taxation is the only practical means of raising revenue to finance government’s spending on the goods and services that most of us demand.”

The townhall meeting forms part of the nationwide sensitization being held on the E-levy proposal in the 2022 budget statement.

The government is determined to get the policy approved by parliament. The Finance Minister Mr Ofori-Atta had ruled out returning to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for support in order to deal with the challenges that the local economy is going through at the moment.

Speaking at the 3rd Townhall meeting on the E-levy on Thursday, February 10, at the Radache Hotel in Tamale in the Northern Region, he indicated that a return to the Bretton Woods institution will have dire consequences.

The government was called upon to return to the IMF for support instead of relying on the proposed E-levy for revenue.

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For instance, a former Member of Parliament for New Juabeng South, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah believed that a return would rescue Ghana’s struggling economy.

“Without a doubt, I think we should be placing a call to Washington if we haven’t really done that. We are just not going to ask for the funds just because E-levy has been passed or not. E-levy will just bring about GH¢5 billion. We are in a deep hole in our tax revenue and facing difficulties, so going to the Fund will give us some support.

“So there is nothing wrong with going to the Fund.  Ghana is a member of the IMF so what is wrong going to ask for support when we are in difficulties to go and pool resources.  If I was the finance minister, I will be convincing the President that it is about time we went back,” he told Citi.

Mark Assibey Yeboah also added that the revenue expected to be accrued from the E-levy is to ensure the economic stability government is eyeing.

He further cast doubt on the government’s ability to raise the projected GH¢6.9 billion target, saying the maximum the government can raise from the controversial e-levy is GH¢5 billion.

“The GH¢6.9 billion target cannot be realized. There are a lot of exemptions so, in my estimation, the maximum amount we can get from the E-levy is GH¢5 billion, and that is less than a billion dollars, so I do not think that the E-levy is going to be a panacea to our revenues. Going to the IMF will ensure some stability and above all, we are going to get some $3 billion”.

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The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Johnson Asiedu Nketia also made a similar call to the government.

Asked whether President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo should go to the IMF, while speaking on the New Day show on TV3 on Monday, February 7, he answered “I think it is something that they have to consider. if it is the only that will take us out of this problem then the earlier the better.”

But Mr Ofori-Atta who had earlier stated that the government would not go back to the IMF insisted that “I can tell you, as my colleague deputy said, we are not going back to the IMF, whatever we do we are not [going back]. The consequences are dire, we are a proud nation, we have the resources, we have that capacity, don’t let anybody tell you … we are not people of short-sighted, we need to move on,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.

By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana