Consequences of not passing 2022 budget are serious – Ken Ofori-Atta

"The full consequences of not passing the budget are serious," Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, has said.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta

According to him, the government will take measures to block attempts by individuals to evade the E-levy proposed in the 2022 budget.

In a letter written to the Speaker of Parliament over his modifications of portions of the controversial 2022 budget following public reaction, Ofori-Atta said consultations would continue with respect to the implementation of the E-levy.

He said "The full consequences of not passing the budget are serious. This would imply that from January 1, 2022, for the government to continue work, we would need to obtain parliamentary approval to spend in advance of the appropriation either than that, the entire government would have to shut down which will mean to name a few, no salaries for almost 700,000 public sector workers including doctors, nurses, teachers, personnel of the security services and others."

He added that the government and the Minority in Parliament were yet to reach a consensus on the electronic transactions levy.

Ken Ofori-Atta presenting the 2022 budget statement announced that the government intends to introduce E-levy.

He said this was to "widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector".

The proposed levy, which will come into effect on February 1, 2022, is a charge of 1.75% of the value of electronic transactions. It covers mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances and the originator of the transactions will bear the charge except for inward remittances, which will be borne by the recipient. There is an exemption for transactions up to GH¢100 ($16) per day.

The tax has since been met with mixed reactions, with Ghanaians kicking against it and stressing that it will only place an extra burden on their finances.

The minority in parliament has also announced that it will not support approval for the proposal.

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