Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy, has linked the controversial E-Levy to the Biblical anecdote of the Lord Jesus Christ feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fishes as described in the gospel according to St Matthew 14.13-21.
According to him, the government of Ghana has already admitted that Ghana is broke and it is relying on the E-Levy to solve the problems of the country which is not true.
Touching on the recent lecture by Prof. Raymond Atuguba, in which the law professor has been accused in some quarters of calling for a coup d’état, Arthur K as he is known popularly stated that, that Atuguba was in favour of a coup in Ghana was false.
He said in a viral video available to GhanaWeb that, the Dean at the University of Ghana Law faculty was only urging Ghanaians to rally behind the nation to prevent a coup from happening.
He noted that some Ghanaians are attacking Prof Atuguba for reechoing some facts stated by the government of Ghana itself.
Dr Arthur Kennedy explained, “I have watched Prof Atuguba’s speech a couple of times, as usual as we have been inclined to do in recent times, we are attacking the messenger instead of the message. Prof Atuguba did not call for a coup; indeed, he tried to rally the nation to prevent a coup.
“Yes, I disagree with some of the things he said. I think that as an attorney, if he was in court looking to get his client some reliefs, he was wrong with his analysis and short on solutions; but that is beside the point. When someone says that there are thieves in the neighbourhood so you must lock your gate when you are going to bed, he is not calling for your property to be stolen…I think that we are attacking Prof Atuguba for stating facts that have already been conceded by the government itself; the government itself has said we are broke, it has said that we are in extremes.
“Listening to the government, it could seem that the E-Levy has acquired the status of Jesus feeding five thousand people with a loaf of bread, it seems it will solve all our problems and we know it won’t. Let us ignore Prof Atuguba and deal with what he said, that was true.”
He continued: “Indeed, another mistake he made when he said that he had apologised to former President John Mahama; it will seem that these cascading apologies to President Mahama will seem to give the impression that he did not deserve to lose 2016 and by giving the impression if he was to come back, all that he has to do is to give us the same governance he gave us the last time and we should be happy.
“No, he lost for very good reasons and if he was to come back, I would hope that he will come back as a man who has reflected on his defeat and he is prepared to us better governance but to return to Prof Atuguba’s point …. we need constitutional accountability for our financial and indeed all our management; we need to know what has happened to our COVID money, we need to know what has happened to all the loans that we’ve borrowed.”
In offering some nuggets to the government, Dr Arthur Kobina Kennedy stated that Ghana, as a country, needs to have a better accountability for how the government spends going forward, “and when we do all these things, we just cannot give people a blank cheque to pass the E-Levy, the E-Levy must be passed by Parliament and it must be passed after honest, respectful negotiation from both sides.
“As President Kufuor called for, let us try and build consensus and show respect for one another and let us all move forward knowing that Ghana belongs to all of us and let us stop demonizing people; let us stop arresting people just because we don’t like what they are saying; let’s move forward together. Long live Ghana, thank you,” he stressed.
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, during the presentation of the 2022 budget announced that government intends to introduce an Electronic Transactions Levy (E-levy).
The Levy, he revealed, is being introduced to “widen the tax net and rope in the informal sector.”
The proposed Levy, which was expected to come into effect in January 2022, charges 1.75% on the value of electronic transactions.
It covers mobile money payments, bank transfers, merchant payments, and inward remittances. There is an exemption for transactions up to GH¢100 per day.
Although the government has argued that it is an innovative way to generate revenue, scores of citizens and stakeholders have expressed varied sentiments on its appropriateness, with many standing firmly against it.
Even though others have argued in support of the Levy, a section of the populace believe that the 1.75% E-levy is an insensitive tax policy that will deepen the already prevailing hardship in the country.