Government will use E-levy proceeds to create jobs for over 11 million Ghanaians – Ken Ofori Atta

Government will use E-levy proceeds to create jobs for over 11 million Ghanaians – Ken Ofori-Atta.

Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, has said that proceeds from the 1.75% E-levy will support entrepreneurs and ensure that over 11 million jobs are created for the youth in the country.

According to him, about 58 percent of the country’s population is around 15 and 59 years which is about 18 million Ghanaians.

Ken Ofori-Atta addressing thousands of young people, at a Springboard Youth Dialogue at the University of Cape Coast in the Central region on the theme “Building a Sustainable Entrepreneurial Nation; Opportunities for Ghana’s Youth” said, “2.4million are in formal employment whilst the remaining 15 million are split between informal and underemployment.”

He said “For us as a government, our task is to ensure we extend opportunities to the youth. The consequences of having eleven million people with no clear path, undoubtedly, our recovery efforts hinges on tailored support to provide skills and funding to our young people to pursue their ambition to free them.”

“How do we as a nation move into an entrepreneurial stage to have an opportunity to contribute to national development? How do we reduce our debt and create employment?

“How do we take care of our infrastructure and roads so that we open up the country and build good Internet systems to create opportunities for all? Why are we being resistant to the future? We have nothing to fear. Have we as a nation understood the times that we are in and are we ready to sacrifice to move to a whole different level?” he asked.

He stated that “When somebody tells you we shouldn’t go there, tell them, give me an alternative for these 11 million people who are at home and not working.”

Ken Ofori-Atta presenting the 2022 budget statement announced that the government intends to introduce an electronic transaction levy (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.