2022 budget: We can't pay salaries if... – Oppong-Nkrumah warns workers on gov't payroll

Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, the Minister for Information has stated that the government cannot pay salaries if the 2022 budget statement and economic policy is not approved.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

"If we are unable to do the appropriations, we have the opportunity to allocate funds to sectors of the economy for three months after which we have no power to spend.

"We will not be able to pay salaries, we will not be able to service our debts, we will not be able to pay for power, the country will grind to a halt as a result of our inability to work on the appropriations, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ofoase-Ayirebi has said.

According to him, consultations would continue with respect to the implementation of the E-levy.

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

"There is the need for us to work together as a house to ensure that we pass the various appropriations so that Ghana can move forward towards the right direction," he said on Accra-based Okay FM.

The Finance Minister, 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.

Meanwhile, Ofori-Atta has written a letter to the Speaker of Parliament over modifications of portions of the controversial 2022 budget following public reaction.

He said, though, consultations would continue with respect to the implementation of the E-levy but "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."

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